WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and EdVenture Partners (EVP) named the winning team of the Second Annual AFPM Recruitment Challenge. 

The goal of the competition is to provide college students with real world experience in creating, implementing and presenting a comprehensive outreach campaign to positively improve the perception of the fuel and petrochemical industries and to educate their communities of career opportunities within the industries. Students from Texas A&M University were named the winner of the challenge on Wednesday, May 11 after presenting their campaign, Refine Your Career.

Finalists from three schools, selected for their clear and innovative messaging and industry recommendations, competed before a panel of industry experts. The second place prize went to the University of New Mexico; and the third place prize went to the student team from Lone Star College – Kingwood.  

College students from ten campuses around the country originally competed in the challenge to develop and implement an outreach and marketing campaign designed to focus on two primary goals: positively improve the perception of the fuel and petrochemical industries by promoting the benefits our products provide; and increase awareness and interest in our industries and the range of career opportunities offered. Each campaign highlighted the benefits available through a career in the industries and the rising need for skilled craft professionals. An important change in the program this year from last was that each team that competed was paired with an industry mentor to consult with throughout the project. 

“Millennials are critical to our industry’s future and through the Recruitment Challenge we learned directly from this group on how to reach them, what they’re interested in, and more. But this competition wasn’t just a learning experience for the students, everyone involved, including the team mentors, walked away from this exercise with a greater knowledge on how to effectively communicate with what is now our nation’s largest generation and an important part of our industries’ future,” said AFPM Vice President of Petrochemicals Melissa Hockstad. 

The students began the AFPM Challenge in January, at the start of the Spring 2016 semester and had until mid-April to complete their projects. They were judged on an increase in market awareness of industry careers and how to obtain them, the number of target markets engaged, the successful engagement of multiple forms of media, among others.