The PPG Foundation has donated $5,000 for equipment needed in the field of chemical processing technology to the West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation. From left are WVNCC President Martin J. Olshinsky, WVNCC Foundation Executive Director Emily Fisher, PPG Plant Manager Jim Rock and New Martinsville Campus Dean Larry Tackett.
The PPG Foundation has given a $5,000 grant to the West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation to help in the purchase of equipment for the New Martinsville campus that would train students in chemical processing technology.
PPG Plant Manager Jim Rock made the presentation today on behalf of the foundation to Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, Northern’s president; Emily Fisher, executive director of the WVNCC Foundation, and Larry Tackett, New Martinsville campus dean.
“This is a significant start in our efforts to raise funds for the purchase of this equipment that will spur economic development in the gas drilling industry,” Olshinsky said. “The college wants to be ready and ahead of the curve in offering such training for students and current workers alike,” he added.
Fisher accepted the donation on behalf of the WVNCC Foundation, saying, “The generosity of the PPG Foundation is much appreciated and will have a lasting impact on Northern’s plans for the region.”
Tackett said, “There is an increasing need for individuals to be trained in chemical processing technology in the New Martinsville region.” He explained that industries targeted for the region related to development of Marcellus Shale and energy resources will require individuals with process technology skills. In addition, he said, the existing workforce in industries in the region is aging and the industries soon will be faced with the need to hire replacements.
Mike Koon, Northern’s vice president of economic and workforce development, also pointed out that currently no education or training facility in the New Martinsville area is equipped to provide hands-on training in this field. Thus, Northern’s purchase of an instrumentation and process control training system would permit the college to provide training both to students who are prospective workers and to incumbent workers.
It was explained that the proposed system is an integrated system which has a number of components that may be purchased individually. Many of the components can provide training in specific areas as stand-alone units, providing the potential to train in a variety of areas. In addition, Koon said, there are add-ons that can be used for specialized applications.
The simulator is portable, Koon added, expaining it could be moved to an employer’s site. He said, “This equipment is essential if we offer training for people wishing to enter the job market but we could also use it to train incumbent workers from local industries.”