As part of the Pathway to Prosperity Fellowship of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, 10 local high school administrators spent five days at at BASF’s Geismar site recently learning about career opportunities in the chemical industry for students at their schools.
Pathway to Prosperity introduces high school vice principals, career coaches and counselors to a variety of BASF employees including engineers, welders, lab techs and operators, according to a news release. The administrators learned more about each position and its function within the manufacturing facility, as well as how to prepare current high school students interested in similar career opportunities.
The participating educators were Chadwick Aucoin, of the East Baton Rouge Career & Technical Education Center; Christina Carter, of St. Amant High School; Catherine Vicknair, of Walker High School; Justin Wax, of Juban Parc Junior High School; and LaTonya Calvey, Toyia Comminey, Micki LeBlanc, Kristie Overstreet, Rochelle Page and Suella Washington, all of Dutchtown High School.
“As the largest BASF site in North America, it can be overwhelming to know what career paths are available and how students should prepare,” said Jolen Stein, communications manager for BASF in Geismar. “That’s why this program is so important. School administrators can do all of the research, find out which students’ strengths fit each path and steer them in that direction while continuing to give them all of the necessary skills and education.”
In addition to learning more about career paths in industry, the educators helped with BASF’s Kids Day, which brought in more than 80 students to the site for fun science-related activities. They also visited River Parishes Community College to learn more about programs such as the two-year process technology degree and how it leads to well-paying job opportunities.
“I really didn’t know what to expect coming into this week,” said Justin Wax, assistant principal of Juban Parc Junior High School in Denham Springs. “I enjoyed the opportunity to see things that most people have never seen, and to be able to speak one-on-one with so many great people at BASF has been an amazing experience. I look forward to sharing the wealth of information with our students.”
BASF was one of 16 sponsoring partners for this year’s program.