Ascension Parish community photo gallery for March 19, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Jolen Stein -- River Parishes Community College students who completed an internship with BASF, from left, are Chad Wascom, of Hammond; Fredrick Wallace, of Prairieville; Kelly Peltier, of Ponchatoula; and Jake Boriel, of St. Amant. Not pictured is Steve Nguyen, of Gonzales.

Five students from River Parishes Community College recently earned college credits toward a degree in process technology while gaining hands-on work experience at BASF’s site in Geismar.

The internship program is part of BASF’s workforce development efforts designed to expose students to chemical manufacturing careers and help grow the talent pipeline, a news release said.

“BASF is growing and investing in North America, specifically the Gulf Coast region, and we have a strong need to retain and grow our skilled technical workforce,” said Tom Yura, senior vice president and manager of the BASF site in Geismar. “Our internship program with RPCC helps students gain valuable real-world experience while learning more about BASF in the process.”

Jake Boriel, of St. Amant; Steve Nguyen, of Gonzales; Kelly Peltier, of Pontchatoula; Frederick Wallace, of Prairieville; and Chad Wascom, of Hammond, participated in the internship program. Four of these students have already secured a full-time position with BASF, the release said.

“We appreciate that BASF offers internship opportunities to our students,” said Dale Doty, chancellor of River Parishes Community College. “The program provides invaluable experience with day-to-day realities of the workplace. RPCC faculty also gain immediate feedback from our industry partners on our program changes or improvements needed so that we’re producing work-ready graduates.”

Last year, BASF donated $100,000 to RPCC to help fund construction of an Advanced Technology Training Center on the school’s new campus in Gonzales. The campus was established to strengthen workforce development in Ascension Parish and the surrounding area.