Persistence pays off for VC grad
Michelle Delgado
Michelle Delgado trains as a process technician at VC's Wood Building lab.

Victoria College alumna Michelle Delgado wasn’t going to allow a downturn in the economy dictate her family’s future.

Delgado lost her job in Houston when LyondellBasell decided to outsource much of its accounting duties. But during her time at the chemical company, Delgado contemplated the possibility of pursuing a career as a process technician at LyondellBasell or another chemical plant.

“I noticed everything around me while I was there,” Delgado said. “I knew I was at a chemical plant. I knew what was going on. But I didn’t know the cosmetics of it.”

It wasn’t until 2013 when Delgado, a single mother of two children, came back home to Victoria to begin her pursuit of a new career.

“I did a little research and found out I was able to qualify with the Texas Workforce Solutions for dislocated workers,” Delgado said. “Ironically, one of the career paths was a process technician. So the door was opened.”

Delgado was not deterred by the fact she was pursuing a career that is dominated by men.

“We would have a few women who would start the semester and then, soon enough, they were gone,” Delgado said. “We have to study electronics, chemistry and physics. I was pretty confident, but, of course, I had to have some thick skin. I was in a career path that consisted primarily of nothing but men.”

Delgado, 43, acquired her Associate of Applied Science degree in process technology and was soon hired by Dow Chemical. She continues to receive training at VC while also working at the Seadrift plant.

“Luckily, I have the greatest family in the world,” said Delgado, who has a 12-year-old son, Tristan, and a 6-year-old daughter, Bella. “I have the best support system ever.”

Delgado, who plans on continuing her education at the University of Houston-Victoria, said the training she received at VC was invaluable.

“It was very beneficial,” Delgado said. “Everything is hands-on. The instructors are very specific, and they want you to be thorough whether you’re investigating or troubleshooting. They don’t just get you in the classroom and tell you, ‘Go read this chapter.’”
Published: Wednesday, 22 June 2016

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