PetroSkills Blog

PetroSkills partners with the Permian Strategic Partnership and PETEX to launch Catalyst Workforce Project

MIDLAND, TX (June 1, 2021) – The Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP), PetroSkills and University of Texas Petroleum Extension (PETEX) have joined together to develop the Catalyst workforce development program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to both assess existing educational curriculums and design a platform for future standardization and workforce integration. Funded by an initial investment of $775,000 from the PSP, the program’s goal is to align industry training needs with the educational and training ecosystem’s ability to deliver those skills.

“Engagement with our community, regional partners and school districts has shown us that there is a disconnect between educational curriculum and skills the industry is looking for in employee recruitment. Development of the Catalyst program was spurred by the understanding that our workforce demographics are changing, and we have the opportunity to ensure we are cultivating a pool of qualified, well-prepared and immediately employable candidates,” said Tracee Bentley, President and CEO of the PSP. “Workforce development is a key area of focus for the Permian Strategic Partnership; by strengthening our prospects today, we are building a more resilient workforce for the future.”

The initial phase of the three-phased program focuses first on engagement by bringing together existing institutions and providers to assess the current state of programs available in the Permian Basin region. Phase one seeks to define the skills necessary for the region’s future workforce, build an asset map of the current education/training ecosystem, and use those to perform a gap analysis that will inform future program updates and investment. By identifying gaps and assessing the current system’s capacity for growth, the group can then pivot into the program’s second phase to support schools and fund engaging opportunities that drive interest for students and potential members of the workforce. The group will provide progress updates as relevant.

“For over 75 years, PETEX has been dedicated to bringing industry-aligned talent development resources to the oil and gas community to help proficiently prepare individuals to enter, advance, and excel in the workforce,” said Dr. Eric Roe, Executive Director of PETEX and Cockrell School of Engineering Assistant Dean. “With the PSP Catalyst Project, we gain an acute understanding of both the industry’s current and projected workforce competencies, and the learning outcomes and capacities of the education and training providers in the Permian Basin. We are proud to be a part of this collaborative project and look forward to serving and supporting industry and education to prepare and sustain the energy workforce.”

“PetroSkills is honored to partner with PETEX and the PSP in support of the Catalyst initiative,” commented Ron Hinn, PetroSkills EVP. “Through Catalyst, Permian Basin students and residents will be better equipped to enjoy successful careers across a variety of energy sector roles that are in high-demand.”




About the Permian Strategic Partnership
The Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) is a coalition of 17 leading Permian Basin energy companies who joined together to work in partnership with leaders across the region’s communities to address current and future challenges to the responsible development of the vast oil and natural gas resources of the Permian Basin in the states of New Mexico and Texas. The PSP member companies are: Apache, BPX Energy, Chevron, Cimarex, ConocoPhillips, Devon, Diamondback, Endeavor, EOG Resources, Halliburton, Occidental, Ovintiv, Pioneer, Plains All American, Schlumberger, Shell, and XTO Energy. For more information, visit

About The Petroleum Extension
The Petroleum Extension (PETEX®), a unit of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, is a leading producer of reliable learning resources and training for the oil and gas industry. For 75+ years, PETEX has been at the forefront of global learning. Through our industry relationships, built over decades, we’ve gained unparalleled access to current expertise, as well as insight into the ever-changing needs and challenges that our oil and gas clients face. At PETEX, our ultimate goal is to give every student the knowledge that the industry requires to efficiently, effectively, and most importantly, safely do their job. PETEX’s commitment to global workforce success remains constant. With a wide range of educational opportunities and resources, we are equipped to meet the needs of those looking to learn more.

About PetroSkills
With a complete spectrum of solutions, courses and learning tools, PetroSkills is developing competent petroleum professionals in all technical processes, spanning the industry’s entire value chain, worldwide. PetroSkills services connect learning to the workplace, allowing employers to manage and assure the competence of workers at every level. For more information visit