In the heart of Lea County, New Mexico, a transformative partnership is brewing between Coterra and New Mexico Junior College (NMJC), aimed at nurturing the next generation of talent in the oil and gas industry. Recently, Paden Hagler’s Oilfield Pre-Employent Pathway (OPEP) students were given a golden opportunity to step into the realm of practical learning at NMJC’s campus in Hobbs, courtesy of Coterra’s arrangements.

The day was nothing short of exhilarating for the 24 eligible students who participated in this second bonus milestone. Coterra went the extra mile by providing tool kits, ensuring these budding professionals were equipped for success. As they stepped onto NMJC’s campus, excitement crackled in the air. The students’ familiarity with industry terminology and equipment, honed through Paden’s OPEP preparation, was palpable.

24 students from Paden Hagler’s Oilfield Pre-Employent Pathway (OPEP)  were given the opportunity to gain practical experience at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, New Mexico.

The highlight of the visit was an engaging panel session featuring NMJC’s Oil & Gas Instructor, CDL instructors, and Automation & Mechanics instructor. From probing questions to insightful discussions, the students delved deep into the nuances of the industry. They explored the welding lab, toured the mock oil and gas facility, and even visited the CDL pad, gaining invaluable hands-on experience every step of the way.

What struck many students was the accessibility, affordability, and timeliness of the certifications and training courses offered by NMJC. It was a revelation for some, who hadn’t realized the plethora of opportunities available right at their doorstep as Lovington is just 20 miles north of Hobbs, New Mexico, where NMJC is located. This eye-opening experience sparked a newfound enthusiasm and drive among the students, propelling them towards a future brimming with possibilities.

The appreciation was mutual, as NMJC staff and faculty lauded Coterra for its proactive approach in investing in the future workforce. Recognizing the significance of early intervention, they acknowledged that waiting until students reach higher education institutions might be too late. Coterra’s commitment to nurturing talent from the grassroots level earned them accolades and gratitude from the NMJC community.

Students toured various parts of the NJMC campus, including the welding lab, the mock oil and gas facility, the CDL pad, giving them first-hand experiences at every stop.

As a testament to their collaboration, Coterra has been invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for NMJC’s new Workforce Development Training Facility, slated for completion in the fall. Serving on the Advisory Committee, Coterra plays a pivotal role in shaping the programs housed within this state-of-the-art facility. Their dedication and reliability have earned praise from NMJC’s Workforce Development Vice President, Steve Sauceda, who emphasizes the genuine partnership forged between the two entities.

Looking ahead, the partnership between Coterra and NMJC holds boundless potential. With plans for further collaboration and expansion, including ventures with Lackawanna College, Coterra is at the forefront of empowering tomorrow’s workforce, one student at a time. As they continue to bridge the gap between education and industry, the future of Lea County shines brighter than ever before.

Not only did students receive invaluable practical experience, but Coterra Energy also provided steel-toe boots in addition to tool kits for each student.