LEMONT, Ill., April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- During February and March, as a part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline Program, which seeks to increase access to educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the CITGO Lemont Refinery participated in four STEM-related events for area youth.

"As a company, we are committed to investing in the next generation of STEM leaders. Partnering with area schools is just one example of how we are encouraging STEM education," said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.

On February 24, Lemont Refinery volunteers attended the STEM night at the Ira Jones Middle School in Plainfield, and on March 2 they participated in the STEM Night at John J. Lukancic Middle School in Romeoville. At both events, the team hosted a learning station and facilitated STEM demonstrations with the students. In addition, on March 23, CITGO engineers served as judges for the Valley View School District STEM Night at Romeoville High School---evaluating the middle school students' science projects.

Furthermore, on March 4 the CITGO Lemont Refinery sponsored the first annual STEM Fest at the Romeoville Branch of the White Oak Library District. This event attracted over 500 people from the Lockport, Romeoville and Crest Hill communities – including Mayor Steve Streit of Lockport and U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3).

"In order for students to compete in a global economy and make smart, socially responsible decisions – they need a solid education in STEM. By sponsoring this event, CITGO provided an opportunity for kids and their parents to engage and explore STEM related activities together," said Scott Pointon, director at White Oak Library District.  

The CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program partners with educational organizations near the company's operational areas. The program promotes the importance of STEM education in the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. In 2016, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline benefited 3,000 students and 300 educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, acquired 100% ownership of the refinery in 1997 and began operations as CITGO Lemont Refinery. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation