The new hires consist of lead chemical operators who will hold key operations roles at the company once the fully integrated polysilicon production begins operation in Charleston.
Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president and CEO of Wacker Chemical Corporation North America, is scheduled to welcome the new employees on their first day of training. Coursework will begin at the WACKER Institute Aug. 1, in the chemical engineering technology program.
The student employees will complete six months of training in Chattanooga prior to six months of on-the-job training at WACKER’s Burghausen, Germany, plant, the principle production site and the largest chemical site in Bavaria.
The Wacker Institute encompasses about 25,000 square feet of the former Olan Mills photography building next to Chattanooga State’s main campus. It represents a $3 million investment for developing specific programs of study in the areas of chemical technology, chemical laboratory technology, mechanical technology and electrical/instrumentation technology.
The company is expected to hire up to 650 employees at the $1.5 billion green energy plant, where raw silicon will be used in the production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a starting component for solar panels and semiconductors. The plant will be located near Olin Corporation, which will be a supplier of chlorine used in the purification process of the raw silicon.
Wacker Chemical Co. is located in Adrian, Mich. It is the North American subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG, based in Munich, Germany. Wacker Chemie purchased 78 acres from Olin Corporation and Wright Brothers Construction Co., of Charleston. The property is located along McBryant Road and Lower River Road, close to Olin Corp.