Teaching ‘Somewhat Rare’ Skill Sets at Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery

Working with higher education and providing in-house training are key.

Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery, Linden, is enmeshed with workforce development, not only from the standpoint of extensively training its employees, but from the vantage of advising Middlesex County College regarding its Process Technology associate’s degree, the latter which is designed to teach students how to operate facilities that manufacture a product such as gasoline, chemicals or, say, pharmaceuticals.

Michael Kaus, team leader for employee training and development at Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery, says, “We – and other members from different facilities throughout the state – advise [Middlesex County College] on items that we believe [deserve] more [educational] emphasis, because we – in the industries – can give the college [insight] into what is becoming more popular regarding trends with technology.” Additionally, Phillips 66 may consider hiring the college’s graduates.

Training at the Facility: Phillips 66 has extensive training programs that may last up to three years, teaching incoming employees a wide range of skills. Kaus explains, “An individual will become qualified on a few items after the first six months, and, then, after 12 months, there’s testing to make sure that [he or she] has the skill sets needed to reach [his or her] full qualifications.”

He adds, “Along with that, we have a computer-based library system that deals with refresher training. Every year, there is refresher training on safety issues such as incipient-stage firefighting and how to properly lock-out electric equipment, so you don’t have hazardous energy to deal with.”

In the northeastern United States, many of the skills on which Phillips 66 instructs its employees are considered “somewhat rare” skill sets, these days, according to Kaus.

Meanwhile, he concludes, “If you have ever driven down the Turnpike, some people are scared of that big machine (Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery) that’s off to the side, there. But, it is an economic engine for New Jersey; it really has some good jobs for some high-paying positions. We are always looking for good candidates – and a lot of that pool comes right here, from New Jersey.



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