|Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Geismar site, delivers a check to River Parishes Community College Chancellor Dr. Joe Ben Welch.
BASF has donated $20,000 to River Parishes Community College to help the rapidly growing school expand its computer equipment as it prepares to handle a wave of new process technology students.
River Parishes Community College merged with Louisiana Technical College Ascension campus in September. Now that the merger is complete, the process technology curriculum offered at the LTC Ascension campus will be integrated into the RPCC’s programs.
The BASF donation will help expand the computer lab at the former LTC Ascension campus in Sorrento.
The BASF donation will fund 17 computers and one server for the computer lab used by students in the process technology program. The equipment will allow instructors to use a new computer-simulation program that will give students real-world experience in controlling different processes in a plant environment.
RPCC is one of the fastest-growing colleges in the state. Dr. Joe Ben Welch, Chancellor of River Parishes Community College, said RPCC’s enrollment has grown more than 40 percent in the past two years, and the enrollment at the LTC Ascension campus grew by more than 60 percent this fall alone.
“BASF’s generous donation will help us keep our technology current and better serve additional students who are seeking new opportunities in the workplace,” Welch said. “Demand for chemical and refinery workers continues to climb and RPCC will play an important role in preparing workers for those positions.”
BASF’s Geismar site has a long-standing and close relationship with RPCC. As the largest-private employer in Ascension Parish, BASF has partnered with the college to train its employees and to develop new skilled workers.
“RPCC is very important to BASF because of its close proximity to our Geismar site and the courses it offers our employees,” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Geismar site. “It is also an excellent source for candidates for operator and instrument tech positions at our site.”
Since 1999, RPCC has offered two-year associate degrees that can be transferred to four-year colleges and universities.