Logo: University of Southern California

Oxy Funds Program For Preparing Junior College Graduates to Join the Petroleum Industry

A local Petroleum company donated $40,000 to USC in an effort to open doors in the petroleum industry for recent junior college graduates.
By: Angus McColl
October 29, 2012 —
Ms. Vicki Hollub presents the check to Dean Yannis C. Yortsos.

Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) recently presented a check for $40,000 to pilot a new summertime program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to introduce junior college graduates to career opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

The pilot program will run for the first time in Summer 2013 under the guidance of Dr. Iraj Ershaghi, Director of the USC Petroleum Engineering Program. Viterbi School petroleum engineering faculty and Oxy engineers will teach the curriculum.

Ms. Vicki Hollub, Oxy’s Executive Vice-President of California Operations, visited USC to present the check to Viterbi Dean  Yannis C. Yortsos, and Dr. Ershaghi. Ms. Hollub, an engineering graduate from the University of Alabama, whole-heartedly supports USC’s novel concept of introducing outstanding junior college graduates to the petroleum industry. “The industry clearly needs more petroleum engineers and other technically qualified and motivated workers,” Hollub noted. “We hope this program will raise interest among bright and capable junior college graduates.” Hollub added, “Oxy enjoys working with USC and is enthusiastic about the Viterbi School’s world class expertise in petroleum engineering research and education.”

Ershaghi thanked Ms. Hollub for Oxy’s investment in the continuing professional education of young people graduating from community colleges. “This program will open fantastic opportunities for them in the oil and gas industry” he predicted. “This is certainly a positive step to enhance manpower planning for Oxy, and a potentially rewarding employment opportunity for those who attend. We are so pleased to have Oxy’s partnership in supporting our efforts to attract the best and brightest students to petroleum engineering,” Ershaghi noted. “

Dean Yortsos noted that USC is a global leader in smart oilfield technologies and petroleum engineering. "In the medium term, satisfying liquid fuel needs will require new advances in production and exploration" Yortsos noted. “A new wave of enthusiastic young talent drawn and mentored through Oxy’s program will be a wonderful new step for USC Petroleum Engineering and the industry. I am truly grateful for Vicki Hollub’s support and encouragement as well as Oxy’s decision to provide the funding to make it happen.”