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City of Orange, Lamar State College Orange seeing impacts of Chevron Phillips expansion project

LSCO has seen an increase in students enrolling in their two-year industrial technology program, meanwhile new jobs have been added to the City of Orange's website.

ORANGE, Texas — The announcement of the Chevron Phillips expansion project in Orange is impacting various different areas of the city. 

Lamar State College Orange has seen an increase in students enrolling in the industrial technology program, meanwhile new jobs have been added to the City of Orange's website.

Program Director Cheryl January says they've seen a 12 percent increase in enrollment and her students are pumped.

This program teaches students the skills that companies like Chevron Phillips would want in an employee and most only take 2 years to complete.  

"Our programs here in industrial systems for process technologies, safety health and environment, and instrumentation. Overall, we are excited and the students are excited at LSCO," January said. 

On the other hand, Orange city officials have been looking to add to their staff as they prepare for a population boom.    

Orange City Manager Mike Kunst says the city is welcoming all this growth. 

"One, we are just gonna be busier, a lot of transitional people type workers, residents, to watch the demand for city services increases, to be able to meet that demand," Kunst said. 

The date for registration to enroll in the LSCO two-year program are opening April 3, 2023. 

RELATED: Orange County bracing for housing, economic boom amid upcoming $8.5 billion Chevron Phillips plant expansion

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC is bringing an "integrated polymers" facility to Orange and with it comes hundreds of job opportunities. The $8.5 billion facility is expected to have a big impact on Orange County.

“When these large expansions and new facilities as this one is comes into place, then it certainly is going to make it a lot better place for people to want to come because there's jobs here," Orange County Judge John Gothia said.

The facility is expected to bring hundreds of jobs. The newly hired workers will need somewhere to live. 

Construction of new housing is already underway, with plans for more subdivisions and apartment buildings. Additional developers have been applying for building permits to build more places to live in Orange, according to Judge Gothia.

Related: Orange County residents excited, concerned amid upcoming Chevron Phillips plant expansion

Lisa Marino is a longtime real estate agent. She believes Orange has needed new housing for quite some time.

"There definitely is a need for more housing," Marino said. "The houses go relatively quick, and now that we have this new placement with Chevron, I see a need for more growth.”

The real estate agent feels there are plenty of programs available for those looking to buy a home in Orange.

"We do have lenders that provide a 0% down for that area since it's considered a rural, a USDA loan," Marino said. "And that can help a buyer get in their home for 0% down.”

County officials feel the growth has been a long time coming and have been working to bring jobs and opportunities to the area.

"We started working with the CP chem group several years ago to try and convince them that Orange was the best place for this facility," Judge Gothia said. "Because we knew what the economic growth would be, and that's why we are so excited they came.”

Officials believe this is just the beginning for the city as the new construction subdivisions will create a positive economic benefit for the area.

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