HOUSTON, Nov. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation recorded a landmark year of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) support in 2018. The company exponentially increased the number of CITGO Innovation Academies it supports and continues contributing toward innovation academies, resources and scholarships. The effort brought the company's total STEM talent pipeline reach to $1.5 million over five years.

"Our goal is to create a learning environment that fosters the growth of future innovators," said Rafael Gomez, CITGO Vice President Strategic Shareholder Relations and Government & Public Affairs. "STEM education – especially at the elementary, middle and high school levels –  helps develop life-long critical thinkers who will go on to create real-world solutions that help our lives and communities."

CITGO Innovation Academies encourage students and educators to explore education and career paths in STEM. Grants directed to schools support cutting-edge curriculum, resources and events rarely found in traditional classroom settings. Formatted to appeal to young minds, CITGO Innovation Academies offer hands on activities and engaging learning experiences catered to elementary through high school students.

The first CITGO Innovation Academy was launched in 2013 at Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 2018 alone, CITGO added six new locations to the roster, including:

  • CITGO Innovation Academy at Garcia Elementary School in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • CITGO Innovation Academy at Cunningham Elementary School in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • CITGO Innovation Academy at E.K. Key Elementary School in Sulphur, La.
  • CITGO Innovation Academy at Lemont High School in Lemont, Ill.
  • CITGO Innovation Academy at Olle Middle School in Houston, Texas
  • CITGO Innovation Academy at West Independent School District in Corpus Christi, Texas

"I'm overjoyed at the tremendous growth in the CITGO Innovation Academy initiative," said Gomez, at CITGO. "With state-of-the-art resources at their disposal, students in the communities where we live and work will be more prepared than ever to tackle futures in STEM. We are so proud of the accomplishments our CITGO Innovation Academy students have achieved so far and we couldn't be more excited to see what the future holds for students in Houston, Corpus Christi, Sulphur and Lemont."

CITGO Innovation Academies are the cornerstone of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline. Through the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline, the company actively supports the academic exploration of STEM education in the schools nearby its refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La., Lemont, Ill. and its headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation 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, please visit www.citgo.com.