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Donations push two educational programs to the top of the class

Education equity received an A-plus boost in two regions through a pair of recent $1 million donations from Phillips 66.

In Louisiana, the company’s Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex donated to SOWELA Technical Community College to help expand its Process Technology Center, while its Ponca City Refinery in Oklahoma gave to Ponca City Public Schools to support a science, technology, engineering and math facility. The donations marked the largest combined Phillips 66 contribution toward education equity in 2024.  

“Workforce preparedness is the foundation of individual achievement and the economic future of the areas where we call home,” said Courtney Meadows, Phillips 66 Social Impact manager. “These donations represent our commitment to building a more diversified and equitable workforce in the STEM disciplines.”

Education equity focuses on fairness and opportunity in education, especially among underrepresented groups. Phillips 66 has supported local schools, school districts, colleges and technical schools through its various donations geared toward this goal.

Over the past five years, Phillips 66 has given approximately $50 million to education equity initiatives where it operates. In November, the company donated $1 million to Project Lead the Way, a curriculum provider that uses collaborative academic activities to expose students to STEM careers.

The Lake Charles Refinery’s SOWELA donation aims to double the size of the region’s only Process Technology Center, which supports the talent needs of the energy industry. More than 150 current Phillips 66 employees are graduates of the school’s Process Technology program, many of which are process operators who maintain and monitor equipment crucial to creating various refinery products.

“Phillips 66 is committed to investing in the next generation of skilled industrial workforce of Louisiana,” said Scot Tyler, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex general manager. “We’re proud to expand the educational resources needed to support these students’ aspirations.”

The Ponca City donation will help advance its first-ever STEM facility on the local high school campus, which will give students access to curriculum in computer coding, aviation, physics, robotics and 3D design. It is the single largest donation given to the school district.  

“This donation reflects our belief in the power of education to shape the future,” said Heath Wanamaker, Phillips 66 Ponca City Refinery general manager. “We aim to ignite a passion for learning and inspire the next generation of innovators.”