Supporting STEM Education Programs in Beaver County

Supporting STEM Education Programs in Beaver County

Education is a powerful resource. It drives curiosity, understanding, and ambition. It propels bright young students toward even brighter futures.

By Shell Polymers on Jun 23, 2020

Since Shell Polymers chose Beaver County to house its new polyethylene plant, more than 5,000 jobs have been created to work on construction and hundreds of permanent jobs will be available once it opens. As part of its commitment to helping future generations of Pennsylvania students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for rewarding careers, Shell Polymers is finding ways to invest in STEM programs in the local community.

The Importance of STEM Education

STEM education is a crucial stepping stone for students on the path toward a lucrative career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.4% of United States employment shares were STEM occupations, many of which were recorded with an annual mean wage in the six figures.1

Even outside of commonly-known STEM occupations like engineering or computer science, STEM skills are crucial for an increasing number of jobs at all levels. Purdue University explains that “...individual and societal decisions increasingly require some understanding of STEMS, from comprehending medical diagnoses to evaluating competing claims about the environment, to managing daily activities with a wide variety of computer-based applications...”2

Providing opportunities for local students of all ages to strengthen STEM skills is not only essential to advancing the world we live in, but it’s also a mission ingrained in the people that make Shell Polymers.

Investing in the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Shell Polymers is launching its plant with an all-star team of polymer experts including Polymer Pros and Polymer Pioneers who will oversee the exciting developments that are coming down the pipeline. In addition to lending their expertise to the business, many of them are dedicated to sharing their knowledge to advance STEM education and encourage the next generation of STEM professionals.

Bringing New Opportunities to Beaver County

With its presence in Beaver County, Shell Polymers is encouraging STEM fields by not only financially supporting STEM programs at local colleges but providing a place to put those skills to use in the community. It propels bright young students toward brighter futures - students like Terence Gettings.3 Terence was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, and his enthusiasm for learning led him to pursue an associate degree in process technology from the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC). Now he’s kicking off his new career as a production operator for Shell Polymers, close to his family, and the community he’s loved all his life.

In order to bring a two-year process technology degree to the Community College of Beaver County, Shell donated $1 million to create the Shell Center for Process Technology. Rather than having manufacturing talent leave Beaver County, this center will enable learners to gain technical skills in a local, 2-4 year program with low tuition costs and pursue a promising career track. With Shell Polymer’s plant taking root in Beaver County, safe, clean factory jobs will also be available for when students complete the program.

In fact, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President Mark Thomas commented that “Once the plant is online, there will be some 600 well-paying jobs created [for the community] to support its operations.”

Leveraging its partnership with Pittsburgh Steelers, Shell Polymers teamed up with the NFL team last year to host a “Powering Pittsburgh” education event for schools across Western Pennsylvania. More than 70 students from 18 schools came together in the Steelers stadium to participate in the project. Four teams won donations towards their STEM programs - and tickets to a Steerlers game.4

Shell Polymers is strongly committed to helping further STEM education in Beaver County and beyond. We believe STEM education is the future of Shell Polymers and our world is dependent on the skills that young, creative minds are developing together. With these programs, individuals who are excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can pursue promising careers in these fields and we are excited to be at the front end of that in Monaca, PA.

Learn More About Shell Polymers Community Involvement

1 https://www.bls.gov/oes/2019/may/featured_data.htm#stem3

2 https://www.purdue.edu/hhs/hdfs/fii/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/s_iafis04c02.pdf

3 https://www.shell.us/business-customers/shell-polymers/shell-polymers-and-the-pittsburgh-steelers/terence-gettings--production-operator.html

4 https://www.shell.us/business-customers/shell-polymers/shell-polymers-and-the-pittsburgh-steelers.html

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