The Dow Chemical Co. will expand its Dow U.S. Apprenticeship program to its manufacturing facilities in Plaquemine and Hahnville this year through a partnership with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

This program targets men and women interested in a career as an instrument electrical technician, process technician or millwright. The company expects to hire about 20 apprentices this year to start the program in the fall,

In addition to the two Louisiana locations, the Dow sites participating in the program include Freeport, Bayport, Lone Star, La Porte and Seadrift, Texas; Pittsburg, California; and Midland, Michigan, operations.

In 2015, Dow hired 50 apprentices who are currently training for roles as instrument electrical technicians or process technicians.

Through the partnership with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, apprentices will work toward an associate’s degree while acquiring three years of training and on-the-job experience.

The apprentices will have their tuition funded by Dow and receive a salary that increases incrementally over their tenure in the program. Upon completion, apprentices will be evaluated for employment opportunities at Dow.

“Dow is a longstanding partner of Louisiana’s community and technical colleges, and today’s announcement further demonstrates their commitment to building Louisiana’s workforce and investing in our students,” said Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “The Dow U.S. Apprenticeship program is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Louisianians to gain the instructional and hands-on experience required to secure meaningful and sustainable employment in today’s economy.”

“We are excited to be offering the Dow U.S. Apprenticeship Program in Louisiana and look forward to training these apprentices as they grow within Dow and gain real life experience,” said Eduardo Do Val, Louisiana Operations site director in Plaquemine. “We could not do this without the great public-private partnership between Dow and LCTCS and the prioritization of an advanced manufacturing agenda, which has the power to create jobs, value and growth within our communities to a degree that no other sector can.”

Do Val said every manufacturing job created has a multiplier in the range of 3 to 5 spin-off jobs across the rest of the economy.

“This program allows us, with our partners, to build a talent pipeline in difficult-to fill technical roles that supports manufacturing growth in the U.S. and on the Gulf Coast,” he said.

“This program clearly aligns with Dow’s ongoing commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative and the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which fuels America’s competiveness,” said Johnny Chavez, St. Charles Operations site director in Hahnville.

Dow’s Apprenticeship program will supplement existing company-sponsored training programs for those technical specialties.