Students in West Virginia Northern Community College's chemical class received a "hands-on" experience Thursday, Feb. 9 as they toured Dominion's Hastings and Galmish facilities.
The class that toured the facilities is Instrutor Steve Ledergerber's accelerated pilot program. The course is being completed in 40 weeks, with students having started the program in July 2016. Anticipated graduation is set for May 2017.
Christine Mitchell, Dominion External Affairs Representative, noted of the tour: "Dominion has a rich history in Wetzel County and strives to give back to the communities in any way possible. Allowing these students in WVNCC's Chemical Operators course to tour the Hastings and Galmish sites is our chance to showcase our facilities and give them an idea of the type of working environment in which they may eventually gain employment."
Kneeling is Eric Dennis; First row, from left, are Josh Moore, Karissa Headley (in green helmet), Eric Van Allen, and Christina Lemasters (Dominion Compliance Supervisor). Second row are Anthony Strope (Dominion Safety Pro) Andrew Cecil, Steve White, Caleb Miller, Taylor Cecil, Max Miller, Melissa Rush (Compliance Coordinator), Danny Workman (Operations Shift Supervisor) and Steve Ledergerber (WVNCC Program Director).
Mitchell continued, "The weather didn't cooperate with us, but that also will give them an idea of how temperature affects things in a gas processing plant. Hopefully these students will not have to leave WV when they graduate to find a job."
Ledergerber noted of his students' tour, "This is/was a big deal for the students: a chance to see the real work world and lay hands on the very things we've been learning about."
"The visit provided, a great opportunity to see and hear from other experts about the environment in which they aspire to work," Ledergerber said.
He added, "Several remarked to me just how neat and clean the locations they toured were. They were very impressed!"
The curriculum is based on a 60 credit hour, two-year Associated in Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students take the following courses: Microsoft Office Suite Computer Skills, Technical Math, Technical Writing, Basic Electronics and Electricity, Blueprint Reading, Safety (with multiple worksite certifications, including CPR and AED), Machine and Motor Installation, Hydraulics and Fluid Power (two courses), Chemical Operator Technology (five courses), Physics and Lab, General Chemistry and Lab, Quality and Statistics, Psychology, and Speech.
Ledergerber reported that he is anticipates starting another class by June 2017.