It's certainly not the case here in West Texas, but a lot of people around the world see the oil industry as the "bad guys." But recent efforts made by a local oil company is proving doubters wrong.
Honesty, integrity and sincerity are some of the words used in Midland-based AggieTech Energy Services mission statement. But after a recent event, the word "philanthropic" could easily be added to the list.
It all started with a call from Mitchell Monk.
Monk arrived in Midland one week ago after a long, hard journey that began in Cullman, Alabama. It all started six months ago, when the steel mill where Mitchell worked announced it was closing it's doors.
While searching for a job in a struggling economy, Mitchell was able to support his wife and three kids with their savings. But the money eventually ran out, forcing Mitchell to make the toughest decision of his life. "It was either sit there maybe for another six months or take a chance and try to provide for them," he says.
Mitchell knew what he had to do. What he didn't know was where he would have to go to do it.
With some help, Mitchell was able to get enough money to buy a one-way bus ticket. Without knowing where to go, he simply headed straight to the bus station.
"Mitchell went to the bus station and told the bus station manager he wanted to go wherever they were hiring, and the bus station manager knew somehow that Midland, Texas was the place to be. And Mitchell said, I want a bus ticket then to Midland, Texas," explains Toben Scott, President of AggieTech Energy Services, who would eventually employed Mitchell when he arrived to West Texas.
But, at the time, all Mitchell had was faith that it would all work out. "I didn't know what to expect," said Mitchell. "All I knew was that I had the clothes on my back, an extra suit of clothes and a sleeping bag. And, I just, pardon the expression, I just let the Lord have his way. And I'm not ashamed to say that."
After days of traveling and being re-routed from state to state through icy conditions, Mitchell finally arrived at the bus station in Odessa. The first thing he did when he stepped off the bus was buy a newspaper and open it up to the wanted ads. He came across an ad for AggieTech Energy Services and decided to call about the job opening.
"I got a call from an unkown number and Mitchell was on the other line explaining he had just gotton off the bus from Alabama and was looking for a job," says Scott.
Scott asked Mitchell to come in and fill out an application. Although Mitchell had little experience in the position available, Scott saw a characteristic that inspired him to give Mitchell a chance. "I thought, anyone with that enthusiasm or dedication to make things work would probably make a pretty good employee," he says.
For the first time in months, Mitchell was able to call his family, who had to stay behind in Alabama, and tell them the good news.
Although he's only been in Midland for one week, Mitchell says the challenge he overcame to get here is something he'll value for the rest of his life. "Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Your family is worth it. That's why you became a dad. Your wife, during your vows, you promise to love and take care of her no matter what."
And although being away from his family is tough, he's doing whatever it takes to make sure he fulfills that promise.
WANT TO HELP MITCHELL?
Mitchell says the outpouring of support he's received from the people of Midland has been overwhelming. While he's extremely grateful for all of the help, he also says he wants to do this on his own.
Although Mitchell works mornings and afternoons for AggieTech, he also wants to find part-time work during the evenings that will help him as he rebounds from months without income.
If you have any suggestions that fit the job description, please email the details to Mycah Glover at email@example.com . The information will then be passed along to Mitchell.