Marathon’s Garyville Refinery Makes Major Investment in Local School District

Jan 10, 2024 9:00 AM ET
  • Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery in Louisiana presented St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools with a grant for $350,000 to support the district’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Academy.
  • The donation will support needed upgrades at its popular welding program and allow the school to increase the number of students who can participate in the program.
  • The upgrades are expected to begin in early 2024 with project completion expected ahead of the 2024-2025 school year.

In front of a full house, Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery in Louisiana announced a $350,000 grant at the St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools last regularly scheduled school board meeting of 2023.

The investment by Marathon will support building and equipment upgrades at the school system’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Academy and allow more students to participate in the school’s award-winning welding program.

“On behalf of Marathon Petroleum, and as a proud native of St. John the Baptist Parish, it is my absolute honor to announce our latest investment in the students of St. John,” Iman Montgomery, the refinery’s Community and Stakeholder Engagement Representative. “We’re proud to be part of this community, and together, we are working harder than ever to provide new opportunities for our young people and to strengthen the communities we call home.”

Montgomery was joined by Vice President of Refining Mike Henschen and other employees from the refinery for the grant announcement, which stems from great collaboration among many partners, including refinery leadership, school leaders, teachers and members of the community.

“We are always working with our larger community to create and inspire new opportunities for our students in St. John,” said Interim Superintendent Kendria Spears. “This investment by Marathon Petroleum is the latest success story, thanks to our shared focus and desire to make people’s lives better.”

CTE’s welding and pipe fitting instructor Courtney Branch worked diligently to turn this once idea into a reality.

“This is something we know is going to create real change for our students,” Branch said. “I am more than excited for the future of CTE and the opportunities it will create for many years to come.”

Students of the program earn welding certifications upon graduation, with many receiving part-time employment while in high school and full-time employment opportunities post-graduation.

The upgrades are expected to begin early next year and be completed before the start of the 2024 – 2025 school year.