Event connects students to careers in manufacturing

As part of its workforce development efforts, BASF sponsored the national 2018 Troubleshooting Skills Competition whose final round of competition was held in late April at River Parishes Community College in Gonzales, Louisiana. The competition, presented by the North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA), addresses the need for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the field of Process Operations – a high-demand role at many local chemical companies such as BASF.

“Process operators are critical to the everyday operations of our manufacturing facilities,” said Tom Yura, BASF Senior Vice President and General Manager of the BASF site in Geismar, Louisiana. “This competition trains students how to troubleshoot issues they may face in manufacturing, while networking with companies that are interested in hiring them in the future.”

Students participating on troubleshooting teams are currently enrolled in process technology programs at community and technical colleges across the country. The top ten teams were selected from a pool of 38 teams participating in a qualifying round held at each local school.

“The overall objective of the competition is to build student capacity, increase industry safety awareness and attract future talent to the industry in the process technology professions,” said Eric Newby, Executive Director NAPTA. “The competition provides students with real-life based industry scenarios conducted under an intense competitive environment.”

As the title sponsor of the event, BASF networked with all the participants and provided information about careers. Dana Scott, BASF’s Director of Maintenance at Geismar, delivered the keynote address where she commended the students on their decision to pursue a career in manufacturing. Scott also gave students practical advice on what to expect when starting their first job.

Teams competing in the championship round represented colleges in Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma. San Jacinto College Central Campus from Pasadena, Texas placed first, Kenai Peninsula College from Anchorage, Alaska placed second and Sowela Technical Community College in Lake Charles, Louisiana placed third.

For information about careers at BASF, visit http://careers.basf.us.

Contributed by BASF