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Dow Corning Corp. in Carrollton has made a $19,337 donation to the Carroll County Area Technology Center to help train students in the school’s Applied Process Technology program.
The class helps prepare students for college and careers in various technical sectors including the engineering technician field, especially as it relates to chemical engineering.
The money will be used primarily to purchase new equipment for the program which was established in 1998, known then as the Industrial Chemical Technology class. Dow Corning was instrumental at that time as well in providing seed money to start the one-of-a-kind classroom experience along with two other programs at CCATC. Once again the company is stepping up, as technology has changed and the need to replace long-time workers who are getting ready to retire has risen according to school principal Crystal Raisor.
“The program’s name change reflects the way technology has changed over the last two decades and our ability as a career- and technology-based school system to also make adjustments to keep up with those advances,” she said.
“We are very grateful to companies like Dow Corning that have been vital partners over the years in our efforts to create a solid, well-trained future workforce for those industries in our communities,” she said. “As one workforce readies for retirement, it is our goal to help students learn what is necessary to take over those positions.”
Raisor added that since 1998, Dow Corning has contributed more than $150,000 to the Carroll County Training Consortium, which began through a federal School-to-Work grant. The grant has sustained a critical, long-time funding source, contributed to by an array of local businesses and industries for the school’s training efforts and numerous student scholarships.
Jill Ralston, an industry training and development specialist with the Kentucky Office of Career and Technical Education, which administers CCTC and 52 other ATCs across the state, said this type of donation is vital to the success of programs at the school, which, in turn, create a vital workforce for the local businesses and industries.
“Local industries are true partners in career and technical education here in Carrollton, and across the state and nation. It’s important to recognize their efforts as such and understand that many students could not reach the next level of college and career readiness without them,” she said. ”Dow Corning has been instrumental in providing the necessary educational tools needed to develop not only a future workforce for their facility but for a lifelong career for students no matter where they may go.”
Jebron Hardesty, human resources manager for Dow Corning in Carrollton, said making an investment in education is important for many reasons.
“We want to be a good corporate citizen in the local community, but also, our lifeblood is our employee base and I think having that workforce developed is going to ensure our ongoing success here in Carrollton, as a company,” he said.
Hardesty added that the earlier students can make a decision around the career path they want to pursue, the better it will be for them.
Larry Tarvestad, site manager at the Carrollton facility, said the company has had local high school students tour the plant, something they don’t normally get to do and something they should do to make an informed decision about a career path.
“If you don’t see it, you won’t get a chance to understand it,” he said.
With the addition of new equipment for the APT class, students now will have an opportunity to “see it” in a way not available before; an advantage for them and for local businesses that hope to hire them one day.