Community Partnership and Sustainability: Armando’s Story

Discover how Armando, a dedicated leader in plastic manufacturing, partners with his Louisiana community to drive sustainability and economic growth. From managing large-scale operations to inspiring the next generation, Armando's commitment to community partnership highlights the vital role of modern materials in our daily lives.

Meet Armando: For this Plastic Maker, it’s all about the community.

Armando’s Role in Plastic Sustainability

To Armando, it’s all about the community.

Community = Partnership

In a Louisiana bayou community, Armando manages hundreds of people who create modern materials that play a critical role in our everyday lives.

Workers walking in a line outside a manufacturing facility

“I manage operations at our Lake Charles joint venture. We produce roughly 6 million pounds of polyethylene plastic per day. And I’m responsible for all the facets of that operation, including operations, engineering, maintenance, health, safety and environmental performance, the supervision of around 450 employees plus about 400 contractors, as well.”

“These plastics play a very fundamental role in our life. We use them in our cars, our televisions, our tablets, our cell phones. They’re used to preserve food or to create medical components. It’s an everyday necessity.”

Sure, he’s got a big job. To be successful, he relies on a supportive community. A partnership that goes both ways.

“We’re partnering with the community, like the elected officials. We’re talking about how we can integrate into this community. We’re talking about the way we improve parks. We’re talking about the way we strengthen our schools. We’re talking about ways to improve plastic recycling.”

Sustainability Is Job #1

From the perspective of Armando’s company, LyondellBasell, that partnership means being an economic engine for the community while enhancing community sustainability.

“Sustainability is a core part of what we do. We, number one, intend to be an integral part of the strength of our communities, therefore sustaining the culture and the communities around our facilities. Number two, we’re actively doing things that protect our environment, so that in the future, we’re able to help guarantee a healthy world for our future generations.”

Armando and his team take multiple steps to improve sustainability at his facility… for both the community and the planet.

Armando from LDB smiling at a coworker

“We’re a fairly new facility, which allows us to employ some of the latest and greatest technology in terms of optimal fuel consumption. By the same token, my team is actively involved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a number of projects that improve the reliability of our plant, which can drive down emissions.”

“And at the same time, we’re implementing projects such as the steam turbine generator, which generates 25 megawatts of power. By generating our own power internally, we’re able to minimize the power that we take from the area grid. And we indirectly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from our communities.”

From Border Town to Chemical Engineer

But his real love is getting out into the community to help kids and show them what they can become. Some of that passion comes from his background.

“I grew up in a border town in Mexico in a place where we had great hopes, great dreams and few resources.”

Portrait of Armando from LDB as a child with his parents

“From a young age, I was inspired greatly by the work ethic from my mother and dad. I always dreamed to be something great. I always had this drive to do better, to do something with my life. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be, at some point, a politician or a firefighter. And it was just a matter of dreaming.”

Then it struck.

“When I was in high school, I had a professor that actually talked to me about chemical engineering and what chemical engineers did, and that helped me a lot. When I found out the nature of chemical engineering, it just drove some sort of inspiration in my life in my heart. Right? It was a very clear way in which I could participate in this community in this world.”

Encouraging Kids to Dream and See Big Possibilities

So today, Armando is sharing his story with elementary school kids, many of whom come from a similar background.

Armando from LDB pointing to a large screen in front of school kids with raised hands

“We took the initiative to reach out to a school in Lake Charles to partner with them to strengthen their English as a second language program.”

“Initially we provided a financial donation. And I spoke to the kids at that time. I’m coming here representing the chemical industry as an engineer in a chemical plant.”

Armando is just getting the ball rolling…

“We want to bring people from different professions from within the plant, like mechanics, some of the operators, technicians, younger engineers of different types and that sort of thing.”

“We want to partner with the local community and bring in professionals from across the city to come and talk to these kids about what is possible and how to get there.”

Lots of people at his company are reaching out to help, going beyond the factory gates to strengthen communities.

“The mission among our employee networks is to strengthen our communities has become increasingly strong within LyondellBasell, with thousands of employees being involved.”

The Next Chemical Engineer?

Armando has some very specific hopes and dreams for these kids.

“When I talk to these kids, I try to find a way to tell them number one, dream, and dream big. Number two, work hard to achieve that dream. Because not only do you deserve that, but you’re very much capable of doing that. I think a lot of us that grew up in this sort of environment, we actually think that some of the dreams that we think of are really not possible.”

Armando from LDB presenting to school kids with raised hands

“I’m hoping that when I come and talk to these students, they also get an idea of what’s possible and they start being exposed to that idea and that it perhaps becomes part of their dreams as well… so that they can aspire to be a chemical engineer.”

Keep sharing those great hopes and great dreams, Armando.

We wish Armando and his team continued success.