A major factor in Occidental's success is its diverse, multicultural workforce. We have a longstanding commitment to hire citizens of the countries where we do business, and to train them in relevant disciplines. Our investments in training and development provide employees with new skills and valuable experience, including temporary assignments for select employees at our foreign business units. We believe our commitments to diversity and hiring national citizens enhance our business performance and the sustainability of local and regional economies.
Alliances with local governments and organizations assist Occidental in understanding local issues and helping communities to successfully address challenges such as job creation. As of year-end 2015, Omani nationals represented over 87 percent of Occidental Oman's workforce, including its employees in operations and support functions such as the finance, accounting and legal departments. More than 70 percent of Occidental Oman's senior management and leadership positions were also held by national citizens during the year.
Occidental provides several avenues of support to its Omani employees, including training initiatives such as the Oman Technical Training Program (OTTP). The OTTP helps prepare new graduates for work as field technicians and operators. To tailor the training to their development objectives, selected participants receive a customized training program designed by Occidental Oman. To date, more than 700 Omanis have graduated from the OTTP.
To complement these efforts, Occidental Oman continues to partner with its major contractors to develop a training program for local community members, with the goal of hiring them upon successful completion. In support of the program, Occidental Oman custom-built a new training center in Haima, where students can live while they attend classes.
"In less than ten years, Occidental Oman offered what other big companies in the concession areas could not in half a century. An example of this is Mukhaizna Training Centre in Haima from which more than 300 operators have graduated. This has yielded positive impacts on the society as the lives of many individuals have changed after becoming businessmen and participated in the development of the country." - H.E. Sheikh Hamoodah Al Harsoosi, Haima in Shura Council
Oxy Qatar maintains its strong commitment to placing Qatari citizens in the full range of available positions, from entry-level to executive management. During 2015, Oxy Qatar increased its Qatari employee base by 9 percent. At year-end 2015, 20 percent of Oxy Qatar's employees were national citizens, with some departments, such as the executive office, finance and human resources at 40 percent or higher.
OxyQatar has also introduced a number of new sponsorship programs to enhance employment opportunities for national citizens. Recent examples are Occidental's sponsorship of tuition stipends for first year engineering students at Qatar University and for a new Offshore Technical Program. The Offshore Technical Program is a two stage initiative, involving early recruitment of Qatar Independent Technical School students, where they specialize in a discipline supporting offshore work. The students receive stipends while they are enrolled in the program, and upon successful completion, Oxy Qatar's objective is to offer the trainees a full-time position at one of the company's offshore locations.
Occidental has made significant strides in the promotion of local hiring in Latin America. In Colombia, 100 percent of Occidental's employees in field operations are nationals. In Occidental's Bogotá office, more than 98 percent of the employees, including 74 percent of the senior managers, are Colombian nationals. Similarly, in our Bolivian and Chilean operations, the vast majority of our employees are nationals.
Occidental Colombia has expanded its local hiring efforts by establishing a dialogue between its contractors and subcontractors and 44 local community action councils known as Juntas de Acción Comunal to recruit workers from the communities near Occidental's operations in Arauca.