The company is expected to hire 650 to 700 direct jobs at the $1.5 billion plant. The plant will take raw silicon to produce hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a starting component for solar panels and semiconductors.
Dr. Erika Burk, director of human resources for WPNA, said the new hires will be part of a team working at a state-of-the-art company in the green industry of renewable energy. In addition, the positions offer opportunities for upward mobility. Interviews will begin in November. Burk said the goal is to make 60 job offers by the holidays.
“Wacker is a global technology leader in the chemical and photovoltaic industries, and this is a great time for those looking for a rewarding career to apply with us,” Burk said. “We are looking for people with a mechanical, technical or chemical background, who also have leadership experience in a manufacturing environment.”
Those hired with WPNA will train for six months in Chattanooga at the Wacker Institute, earning $15 to $21 an hour. 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 about 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.
After competing their academic work, new hires will then travel to Wacker’s polysilicon plant in Burghausen, Germany, to train alongside their counterparts. They will receive a per diem as well as financial support for housing and transportation. Following three months of training in Germany, Wacker will fund a one-week trip for them to return home or for a spouse to visit. Should a new hire choose to forego that particular opportunity, Wacker will provide funds for him or her to travel Europe.
“Our Burghausen plant is situated in a truly beautiful part of the world,” Burk said. “To train alongside experienced individuals in this environment is a tremendous opportunity.”
All new hires must pass a pre-employment physical and background check.
WPNA announced earlier in September that the company will extend the opportunity to interview for a conditional job offer to students enrolled at the Wacker Institute on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College.
The company will schedule employment interviews with future students enrolled in a Wacker Institute program of study during the fall 2011 and spring 2012 terms. Successful candidates will be extended a job offer contingent upon completion of all required classes with at least a 3.0 GPA; and passing a pre-employment physical, drug screen and background check prior to the hire date.
WPNA announced earlier this month it will offer a $3,000 signing bonus to newly hired employees enrolled in a qualifying engineering technology program prior to or in June 2011, August 2011 or January 2012. The bonus will be paid during the first 60 days of employment.
If a student’s employment interview does not result in an offer for employment at that time, Wacker may invite the student to another interview opportunity at a later date.
Burk said any current engineering technology students not offered a job are encouraged to continue in their current academic program of study to ensure their competitiveness for future career opportunities.
Wacker Chemie AG announced on Dec. 9, 2010, the start of construction for the company’s integrated polysilicon production site, which will have an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons. The new facility is scheduled for completion in late 2013.
With an extensive portfolio of hyperpure silicon, chlorosilanes and pyrogenic silicas for semiconductor and photovoltaic applications, Wacker ranks among the world’s leading manufacturers in this field, offering customers comprehensive, solution-oriented expertise.