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Pioneer Natural Resources supports Victoria College's Gonzales Center

By Victoria Advocate
July 30, 2011 at 2:30 a.m.

J. D. "Joey" Hall, vice president of the Eagle Ford asset team at Pioneer Natural Resources, second right, and Rhonda Fotiades, senior public affairs specialist, far right, present a donation to Ronald B. Walker, far left, president of the VC Board of Trustees, along with Jennifer Yancey, second left, vice president of college advancement and external affairs and Tom Butler, center, president of VC.

Pioneer Natural Resources recently donated $25,000 to Victoria College for the VC Gonzales Center Expansion Project.

Pioneer's support towards this project will help VC with the expansion of facilities and resources that will provide educational and training programs to ensure a skilled workforce for this region.

"At a time when education empowers economic recovery and helps ensure stability, we're very pleased to be expanding VC's facilities in Gonzales," said VC President Tom Butler. "This expansion project will further increase the educational opportunities available to our neighbors in Gonzales. We are grateful to Pioneer for their generosity in support of this initiative."

The expansion will create new classroom space and a fully equipped laboratory. The classroom space will be used for training in construction skills trades which will enable the VC Gonzales Center to provide certificate programs in welding, HVAC and electrical. The larger science lab will enable the college to offer additional science courses.

VC students in Gonzales have access to a variety of courses, both credit and continuing education along with dual credit courses for high school students. VC's Gonzales Center currently houses six classrooms and two computer labs, along with a resource and tutoring center. Additionally, the center provides students with a science lab and a large and well-equipped nursing skills lab.

"Pioneer is committed to strengthening the communities where we live and operate and education is a key area of our focus," said J. D. "Joey" Hall, vice president of the Eagle Ford asset team at Pioneer Natural Resources. "We want students to succeed - in school, in the workforce and in life."

"We are proud to partner with organizations that share our values and are dedicated to providing opportunity through education and community development," added Hall.

Pioneer is a large, independent oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Dallas. It has more than 300,000 gross acres and 11 drilling rigs currently operating in the Eagle Ford shale field.

Although Victoria County sits outside the Eagle Ford shale region, it will feel the economic benefits of the Eagle Ford development. Pioneer is one of a few exploration and production companies that operates its own hydraulic fracturing fleet, one of which is based in Victoria. The city has already seen more than 150 new local jobs created as a result of this pumping services division and its maintenance and support services.

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