The externship is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Academy, a partnership between the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Internship Program (AMSIP) at Chattanooga State Community College (CSCC) and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
“Summer Externships through AMSIP are designed to help our educators understand the amazing career opportunities we offer here in Hamilton County,” said Cydnie Tate, AMSIP program manager at CSCC.
Bonnick and Brumfield said employees were engaging and thorough in their training. The week began with a safety orientation and review of personal protective equipment, then the educators shadowed various engineers and technicians to learn about their jobs and how BASF operates.
“The school counselors gained direct experience and knowledge of manufacturing, which they can share with students seeking careers in technology,” said Robert Gagliano, site director at BASF’s Chattanooga site. “BASF works with Chattanooga State and Hamilton County Schools on science education programs to build awareness about our company and encourage the skill development necessary to support our future workforce.”
By the end of the week, Bonnick said she learned a great deal that she could share about BASF, and now has a better understanding of what students need to pursue a well-paying career in manufacturing.
“I asked the employees what skills the students would need and they responded with basic math, algebra, and chemistry,” said Bonnick. “Paying attention to detail is also very important, along with flexibility, applying common sense and being able to troubleshoot problems by retracing their steps.”
“Experience is the best teacher,” said Brumfield. “I plan on sharing the experience at BASF in a presentation I will prepare for my students. The message to them is you can be successful even if you don’t go to a four-year college. You can succeed and move up in a company like BASF.”