Local Program Highlights
Hess’ global assets and Houston operational headquarters engaged in a variety of local social investment activities in 2020. The following are selected highlights.
Helping our communities during the pandemic was an important focus of our social investment activities in 2020. Across our operating regions, we supported local communities through donations to meet COVID-19 related needs and through creative, socially distanced employee volunteer opportunities.
In Houston, we partnered with the nonprofit Second Servings to initiate the “Dinner’s on Us” program in April 2020. Our Food Services team began by providing take home family dinners, distributed through contact free, drive through locations, to hospitality workers struggling during the pandemic. The program was expanded to include any Houstonian in need and distributed more than 125,000 meals in 2020. We also donated 12,000 “Stay Well” care packages to emergency and intensive care workers in Houston’s largest hospital network. The packages included hand sanitizer, reusable masks, plastic bags for contaminated items and storage totes for work items, as well as handmade thank you cards from Hess employee families to show our gratitude for health care workers’ efforts.
In North Dakota, Hess contributed $100,000 to the Great Plains Food Bank – a contribution that helped the food bank respond to a 45% increase in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also donated nearly 200 computers to Minot State University to support virtual learning during the pandemic, expanding the university’s stock of computers available for checkout by nearly fivefold.
In Malaysia, Hess contributed more than 60,000 units of personal protective supplies – including face masks, hand sanitizers and medical gloves – to hospitals, district health clinics and police headquarters. In addition, we helped distribute almost 4,000 meals to frontline workers and underprivileged communities. In collaboration with the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, we provided food and basic necessities to Thai nationals who were stranded in the city due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
In Guyana, Hess and its joint venture contributed $300,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts. The funding helped to provide additional quarantine facilities, food, sanitation items and equipment, including personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, through the Civil Defense Commission, Salvation Army and Rotary Guyana.
LEAP Program in Houston
In Houston, Hess continued to invest in our LEAP (Learn, Engage, Advance, Persevere) educational program and related initiatives, making adjustments for a virtual learning environment due to the pandemic. LEAP aims to support students in economically disadvantaged areas with programs and services to keep them in school and aspiring toward college or vocational training. The program has been implemented at three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Among other activities, the program gives books to elementary aged students; offers a summer program for middle school students that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and provides college and career readiness training to high school students. Since 2013, Hess has contributed approximately $7.4 million to support students in Houston’s underserved Magnolia Park and Second Ward communities.
Water Watch Programs in Texas and Louisiana
Hess continues to work with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) to support the sustainability and health of the Gulf’s aquatic resources, primarily through programs that help to improve water quality and clean up marine waste. In 2020, for the third year in a row, we contributed $100,000 to the GOMA Gulf Star program to support Water Watch and citizen science programs. In Louisiana, for example, we supported the creation of a citizen science volunteer monitoring program along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain to sample for algal pollution and microplastics. In Texas, we are partnering with GOMA and the Galveston Bay Foundation to develop a protocol for the Texas Stream Team, a water quality monitoring program, and train community volunteers to help with monitoring and cleanup of the Galveston Bay shoreline and surrounding wetlands.
JET Apprenticeships in North Dakota
Job Experience Training (JET) is an apprenticeship program developed by Hess in 2017, in collaboration with Bismarck State College, to develop local, qualified reliability operators in North Dakota. Through JET, apprentices are trained in our corporate culture and way of operating, and they “earn while they learn,” gaining job experience while pursuing their education. A JET apprentice spends the majority of their training learning Hess processes and developing safe work behaviors.
The JET program was recognized in 2018 by the U.S. Department of Labor as an official Registered Apprenticeship Program – the first such program in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. As a result, all JET apprentices now earn a U.S. Department of Labor credential formally recognizing their efforts.
Since inception, 27 apprentices have entered the JET program, 17 have completed the apprenticeship and 12 have transitioned to be Hess employees. (Two others were hired by Hess contractors.) Of the Hess employees, none have left the company for another operator, and four have reached their two year anniversary with Hess. Given the success of the program, we made an additional investment of $50,000 in 2020. In 2021, we plan to fund six new JET apprentices.
Also in 2020, we enhanced the Tioga Training Center, a Hess facility used by JET participants, adding a new workspace that enables hands on learning with access to the tools they will use in the field.
Toy Trucks in North Dakota
In partnership with North Dakota state education officials and the governor’s office, Hess transforms toy trucks into STEM teaching tools. Since 2018, we have shipped these trucks, along with a corresponding STEM curriculum designed by Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Educational Outreach, to every public elementary school in North Dakota. The materials provide teachers with ready made plans for STEM educational opportunities and help children learn about energy efficiency, kinetic energy and other STEM lessons.
Education in Malaysia
Hess continues to support local communities in Malaysia by investing in regional education. In 2020, we supported the MyKasih Foundation’s “Love My School” Student Bursary Programme in Kelantan. We “adopted” a school that serves the Orang Asli indigenous community, providing financial assistance to underprivileged primary students to help them complete their educations and build better lives for themselves and their families. We also continued to support the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program in Kelantan, which sends ETAs to public secondary schools; in 2020, the program was reduced to three months, down from the usual 10 months, due to COVID-19.
Capacity Building in Guyana
In 2020, Hess’ joint venture in Guyana invested more than $3 million in an ongoing effort to build the capacity of the local business community and supplier base, with the ultimate aim of improving long term economic prosperity.
A continuing focus has been support for the Centre for Local Business Development. Since its opening in 2017, the Centre has held 42 supplier forums, assessed over 512 businesses’ strengths and weaknesses, registered nearly 2,700 businesses in a supplier portal, and conducted the equivalent of more than 3,600 days of training. The trainings have covered the fundamentals of offshore oil and gas production; procurement and supply chain management; financial and human resources management; and safety, security, health and environmental topics such as waste management, incident response and air quality monitoring.
Looking forward, Hess and our joint venture partners remain committed to continuing investment in programs that support capacity building in Guyana. In this context, we and our joint venture partners have committed a further $8 million in 2021 to continue building on the business development, education, health and agricultural programs.