Burnside Plant Helps Community College Prepare Qualified Workers

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Chemours Burnside, La., site has pitched in to help a local community college better prepare technical students for securing “real world” jobs. The site recently hosted a group of students from River Parishes Community College (RPCC) to let them see how a real plant operates as part of their educational experience.  The students are part of a program called PTEC XPRESS that allows for people with an associate or bachelor’s degree to complete a process technology curriculum in four months.

The PTEC XPRESS program was created by RPCC and is the result of a collaboration among the industry, government and education sectors in Louisiana. The 16-week program, which leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in process technology (PTEC), is designed to move participants through the core curriculum at an accelerated pace so they can more quickly obtain employment.

According to Tom Miller, Burnside plant manager, the PTEC XPRESS program is one of several that have been developed to address shortages in available and qualified workers for job openings due to the rapid expansion of manufacturing plants throughout Louisiana. “The rapid expansion is not only creating additional jobs, but it’s also causing attrition due to many employees leaving one job to go to another,” Tom said. “This will continue to create a stress on current and planned industrial investment and operation. While our site doesn’t have an immediate need for resources, supporting these kinds of programs helps ensure resources will be available when we need them and helps ensure a strong future for Louisiana industry.”

The Chemours Burnside plant, which has about 32 employees, is a spent sulfuric acid regeneration facility. Strategically located in the heart of the Gulf Coast region on the Mississippi River, the facility can receive and ship acid via barge, rail car or tank truck.