Westlake Chemical gives back to Geismar Community

Kacy Haydel, reporter @WeeklyCitizen
Mark Peters, Bryon Jones, Daryl Wallace, Luke Langlois, Charlie Stephens, Wilbert Smith, James York, Jr. Tonya Diez, Steve Jones Human Resource Manager for Westlake Chemical, and Richard Brown stand at the Geismar Community Center. Not pictured from Westlake Chemical grounds crew: Jessie Mallery, Jeremy Falcon, Bob Rossi.

Westlake Chemical wanted to do something for the Geismar community. The Geismar community center building has been in need of repairs and maintenance, so Westlake Chemical formed volunteer crews to help out.

Westlake Chemical representatives met Geismar community leaders at the Geismar community center to finish repairs and also to give back to some of the community’s elderly citizens with a food basket giveaway that were delivered Friday Morning.

Steve Jones, human resource manager at Westlake Chemical, said that the building renovations and effort to help the elderly both came out of generosity of the volunteers from Westlake Chemical and their contractors.

“We were able to put some crews of volunteers together to put some pressure washing to the building, repainted it, put some ceiling tiles in, just kind of redid the whole building for them and then we put together food baskets for six elderly families in the community,” Jones said.

Charlie Stevens, of Geismar, noted that the event is a good way to help build a positive relationship between the community and industry.

 “I think this is one of the criteria for building a good community relationship,” Stevens said. “We have had some problems with industry in the past and feel that industry is important to us, we are important to industry and I think what we need to do is come to the table of communication and sit down and work our problems out.”

Richard Brown, retired Ascension Parish School Board member, said the involvement of Westlake has been very positive for the community.

“Westlake took the hammer and actually started doing a lot of things for this community.” Brown said. “This is the first time someone from a chemical plant actually did anything positive for this building.”

Brown said he hopes to continue working with Westlake for community projects in the future.

“Well actually it’s a blessing, especially for this community because Westlake Chemical is a part of this community and the relationship we are having with Westlake is a big plus,” Brown said.

Brown concluded that he is thankful for the generosity of Westlake Chemical and the volunteers.

Brown added, “I’d like to just thank Westlake for their contribution to the community, not only to upgrade this building but working with the senior citizens of this community. They also produced some summer work with our tutoring program which is taking place here during the summer.”