Local Program Highlights
Hess’ global assets and Houston operational headquarters engaged in a variety of local social investment activities in 2019. The following are selected highlights.
LEAP Program in Houston
In 2019, we extended our support of the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s LEAP (Learn, Engage, Advance, Persevere) educational program for three more years. LEAP aims to keep at-risk middle school students in school and aspiring toward college or vocational training. After concluding a successful pilot in 2016, we launched a full program that engages students at three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Among other activities, the program gives books to elementary aged students; offers a summer program for middle school students that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and provides college- and career-readiness training to high school students. Hess has contributed more than $2.1 million to LEAP over the past three years. In 2019, an independent impact study found that LEAP enabled 252 middle school students to elevate their academic proficiency to meet Texas state standards for their age.
LA1 Coalition in Louisiana
Port Fourchon is the main port for workers and supplies coming from or headed to offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The LA1 state highway in coastal Louisiana is the primary route to reach Port Fourchon as well as the only land-based hurricane evacuation route for the port and nearby Grand Isle, a barrier island renowned for its fishing and birding habitat. Historically, the low lying roadway has been impacted by storm surges during each hurricane season. For example, LA1 was closed for four days during Hurricane Isaac in 2012, which was a direct hit to the Louisiana coast. Currently, the roadway often floods even during lower-level storms.
The public–private LA1 Coalition aims to replace and elevate a major portion of highway stretching from Golden Meadow to Port Fourchon. Hess is a member of the Coalition, along with representatives from other oil and gas companies, government agencies and the local community. The new elevated roadway is expected to enhance emergency response capability and improve the evacuation route. In addition, beneficial sediment deposition to be performed during construction will create 100-plus acres of wetlands.
Funds to support this effort have come from oil and gas companies and matching government grants, with the remainder to be paid through tolls from road users over the next 35 years. Hess has contributed more than $800,000 to the project, through two separate matching donations. Through collaboration between the LA1 Coalition and the state of Louisiana, an application to the federal government for an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant was submitted in early 2020, which would provide critical funding needed to help complete the project. For more information, see www.la1coalition.org.
JET Apprenticeships in North Dakota
Job Experience Training (JET) is an apprenticeship program for reliability operators developed by Hess in 2017, in collaboration with Bismarck State College, to develop local, qualified personnel in North Dakota. Through JET, apprentices are trained in our corporate culture and way of operating, and they “earn while they learn,” gaining job experience while pursuing their education. A JET apprentice spends the majority of their training learning Hess processes and developing safe work behaviors.
The JET program was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as an official Registered Apprenticeship Program in 2018 – the first such program in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. As a result, all JET apprentices now earn a U.S. Department of Labor credential formally recognizing their efforts.
Since inception, 26 apprentices have entered the JET program, 14 have completed the apprenticeship and 11 have transitioned to be Hess employees. Of the Hess employees, none have left the company for another operator, and three have reached their two year anniversary with Hess. Given the success of the program, we made an additional investment of $75,000 in October 2019.
Training High School Students in North Dakota
In February 2019, Hess hosted a workshop with STEM students at Beulah High School in North Dakota on emergency response management, including incident organization and response operations. Two hundred and twenty students took part in the workshop and had the opportunity to learn about command and control operations, stakeholder engagement and reporting procedures. The workshop was part of our broader community investments in North Dakota, for which Hess was recognized with the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Community Engagement Award in 2019.
Toy Trucks in North Dakota
In partnership with North Dakota state education officials and the governor’s office, Hess transforms our toy trucks into STEM teaching tools. Since 2018, Hess has shipped toy trucks, along with a corresponding a STEM curriculum – designed by Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Educational Outreach – to every elementary school in North Dakota. The materials provide teachers with readymade plans for STEM educational opportunities and help children learn about energy efficiency, kinetic energy and other STEM-related lessons.
Education in Malaysia
Hess continues to support local communities in Malaysia by investing in education in the region. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program is administered jointly by the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange and the Malaysian Ministry of Education. Hess has funded the program in Kelantan, Malaysia, since 2018, bringing ETAs to teach English in public secondary schools. Twelve ETAs participated in 2019, and the program reached almost 9,000 students through classroom learning as well as 29 English camps. In addition, Hess began funding a new education program in Kelantan under the MyKasih Foundation “Love My School” Student Bursary Program. This program provides annual scholarships to students from underprivileged families in the Orang Asli indigenous community, giving them a better chance at completing their educations and building better lives for their families.
Capacity Building in Guyana
In 2019, Hess’ joint venture in Guyana invested more than $3 million in an ongoing effort to build the capacity of the local Guyanese business community and supplier base, with the ultimate aim of improving long term economic prosperity.
A major focus has been support for the Centre for Local Business Development. Since opening its doors in 2017, the Centre has held almost 40 supplier forums, assessed over 500 businesses’ strengths and weaknesses, registered 2,000 businesses in a supplier portal, and conducted the equivalent of almost 3,000 days of training. The trainings have covered the fundamentals of offshore oil and gas; procurement; supply chain, financial and human resources management; and safety, security, health and environmental topics such as waste management, incident response and air quality monitoring.
In addition, Hess and our joint venture partners committed a further $1.8 million over the next two years toward technical and vocational training to upskill graduates in Guyana for new and growing industrial occupations, particularly related to oil and gas. The Technical and Vocational Education Training Initiative will support the establishment of pilot programs in select skill areas at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute and the Linden Technical Institute. The pilot programs at both institutions are designed to produce employment-ready graduates for the oil and gas industry.
Lastly, in 2019 the joint venture evaluated funding potential for future capacity development initiatives that would support economic development, health, education and training in Guyana.