Meet Fernando Ramirez, Operator Trainee and ROP Graduate


Title: Operator Trainee
Time with Chevron: 5 months
Education: Proud WCCUSD Graduate; Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Marin; ROP Graduate

Tell us about being an Operator Trainee.

As an Operator Trainee, you go through extensive training to make sure you fully understand Refinery operations. I’m beginning my computerbased training and I just finished the 2.5 month fundamentals course, which was an overview of the many safety systems at the Refinery and the duties that an Operator will perform.

Tell us about the Regional Occupational Program (ROP)?

It is a 5-month job training program that prepares you for work on the Refinery. I did the Plant Process Operator course. You learn the plant processes and history of Chevron and develop an understanding of the equipment, among other things. The real bread and butter of the course are the professional development skills you gain. As part of ROP, you learn how to build a resume and go through mock interviews with Chevron employees to help improve your interviewing skills and confidence.

Would you recommend the ROP program to other residents?

Absolutely. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I first joined, but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. ROP landed me an opportunity to work for Chevron and provide for my family. Lots of residents want to work for Chevron but may not know that there are amazing opportunities for us to take advantage of.

What do you like most about working for Chevron?

The people. There’s an abundance of knowledge in the plant, which makes it easy to learn from peers. More than anything, though, everyone is willing to help you. Most of the people take the time to not just answer my question but to also show me the process, providing me
with hands-on experience and training me through practical learning, so long as I show effort and a willingness to learn.

What do you like to do in Richmond?

Mostly I love spending time with my family and my ten-month old son. The Cinco de Mayo and Juneteenth festivals are something that I look forward to every year. And for a quick bite, Los Mexicanos Deli on 23rd street has the best tacos in town!

What is the Real Richmond to you?

I was born and raised here – so I have love for this city. The biggest lesson this community has taught me is to appreciate where you’re from. Sometimes Richmond has a negative stigma to it, but you have to be humble and appreciative of your surroundings and learn to give back to your mentors, teachers and neighbors.

Are there any myths about Chevron you’d like to dispel?

I have been surprised to learn how large the community is at Chevron and how deeply people care about the Richmond community we share. The people here want to work with you to protect the community and the environment. We do our best to look out for each other.