Marathon Oil helps fund and expand innovative curriculum program

News for immediate release
Contact: Sandy Barton, (307) 856-2028
July 29, 2010

(RIVERTON) — Regional energy industry partners and the Fremont County Board Of Cooperative Education Services (FC BOCES) have joined forces to expand an Energy Exploration Class into an additional West Central Wyoming high school this fall semester.

“It’s critical that our students have an opportunity to understand the full potential of energy and related industries and how they might fit into the picture,” said BOCES Career and Technical Director Larry Christensen. “Without the support of our energy partners, such as Marathon Oil, this course would not be available. Our partners have funded it, provided equipment for it, and helped develop facilities for it.”

Marathon Oil is a long-standing contributor in the effort making donations totaling $20,000 to the program this calendar year, Christensen said. The Energy Exploration class was started as a pilot project at Riverton High School two years ago. Due to the success of that first program, the class has expanded to other high schools in Fremont and, now, Hot Springs counties. Thermopolis is the latest high school to offer the FC BOCES program starting this fall semester.

“This class helps keep kids enrolled and engaged in high school through graduation, while providing them with hands-on skills and insight into the many career options available in the field,” said Marathon Oil’s Wind River Operations Production Supervisor Ron Lance in supporting the program. “The industry needs skilled workers and this program is the entry point for young people seeking a career in the energy field.”

Our energy industry partners provide visiting instructors and company trainers to work with the students, and they host the classes at local operations and production sites for “on the job” field experiences. “Without the cooperation of our many Energy Industry partners, especially Marathon Oil, this program would simply not be possible,” Christensen said. “We are thrilled that Marathon has continued to help these students find a meaningful career path.”

Through the contributions, students are provided with personal protective equipment, a shop area at the James H. Moore Career Center in Riverton was enhanced to accommodate the needs of the program and incentive jackets are provided to top performing students at each school.

In addition to the hands-on training a student receives, OSHA Safety certifications are awarded for successful completion of safety programs. Such certifications are required for employment throughout the industry.

Since the beginning of the program, field trips were organized to observe exploration and production facilities around Wyoming and have included visits to natural gas and oil production facilities, pipeline operations, reclaimed mining and drilling sites and geology field trips, in addition to visits to working rigs, both exploration and work-over.

Fremont County BOCES Executive Director Sandy Barton congratulated local Marathon Oil Wind River Operations Production Supervisor Ron Lance on Marathon’s contribution of $20,000 to the Energy Exploration program. Regional energy industry partners, including Marathon Oil, have funded the popular high school career class, which has now expanded into Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis this fall semester.