The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), in collaboration with HOVENSA,L.L.C., a local oil refining company with a crude oil refining capacity of about 500,000 barrels per day, began offering a two-year, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Process Technology on the St. Croix campus during the Fall Semester of 2002.
This program was developed in response to the expected opportunities to fill process technician vacancies within the oil refinery due to the expansion of the refinery and anticipation of the retirement of a significant number of its process technicians (“baby boomers”) in the Virgin Island and on the U.S. Mainland over the next decade. This program represents a tremendous opportunity for young people in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean region to pursue a career in the exciting and financially-rewarding field of process technology.
The primary goal of the AAS Degree Program, is to address training needs for process technicians for both local industries such as HOVENSA LLC., Geonet Ethanol L.L.C, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority as well as the wider Caribbean Region.
Since its inception, the Process Technology Program has experienced steady growth in enrollment and currently (Fall 2008) boasts an enrollment number of about 100 students. The process technology degree program is a “success story” as shown by the growth in enrollment each semester from the Fall of 2002 to the Fall of 2008 (depicted in the enrollment chart below):
To date, the program has produced 47 graduates. Over eighty (80) percent of the graduates are employed at the HOVENSA Refinery. There are also some graduates who are presently employed at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and Geonet Ethanol LLC. A couple of graduates have opted to pursue engineering degrees. These numbers speak to the success of the program