Wyandotte resident Austin Bennie works as an instrument technician in the Wyandotte Polyol plant as part of the BASF maintenance technician scholarship program.

BASF site in Wyandotte offers career experience for local college students

BASF site in Wyandotte offers career experience for local college students

Sara Cambensy

A dozen local college students are gaining experience in the chemical engineering and maintenance technician fields at BASF’s Wyandotte site.

The company’s college co-op and scholarship programs are offering the students from Wayne State University and Henry Ford College development opportunities in innovative technologies and modern production processes.

The Wayne State students attend school full time in the fall and winter terms, majoring in chemical engineering.

They work as contingent employees 15 to 20 hours a week, completing rotations at various units across the BASF site, while developing a knowledge base in chemical engineering. In summer, the students will work full time as contingent employees at BASF.

Nazir Jairazbhoy, a Wayne State senior, works in the Wyandotte resins plant. He said working at BASF has opened him up to the importance of safety standards and engineering troubleshooting.

“My experience here has reaffirmed what I want to do,” Jairazbhoy said. “I’m learning more skills that I need to develop before I graduate and finding out what I should add to my toolkit. I have learned a great deal from all of my knowledgeable mentors.”

The Henry Ford College students are enrolled in the Multi-Skilled Manufacturing Maintenance or Electrical Technology Associate’s degree programs.

They work full-time as contingent employees under the direction of BASF maintenance technicians to develop an industrial maintenance knowledge base.

Students who successfully complete a minimum of two classes per semester with a 3.0 grade point average are reimbursed by BASF for the cost of their tuition, text books and supplies.

Austin Bennie, a Henry Ford College electrical technology student, works as a technician in the Polyol plant. Knowing he always wanted to take a technical career path, the Wyandotte resident had already completed four automotive certifications by the time he graduated high school. This scholarship is helping him pursue an education he otherwise would be unable to afford.

“I really look at this scholarship and job as a stepping stone,” Bennie said. “I can apply this experience into a potential engineering or business role and build a very successful career. I will always be able to use these skills at a job.”

“At BASF, we are designing tomorrow’s world,” said Greg Pflum, vice president and general manager of BASF’s Midwest Hub. “Students can gain valuable experience, develop creative ideas, work with state-of-the-art technology and build a network of resources.”

The BASF site in Wyandotte is now accepting submissions for maintenance students through its scholarship program. They are also offering technician scholarships to candidates who attend Henry Ford College’s Process Technology-Basic certificate program.

Interested students should email their resumes to BASF-Wyandotte-ScholarshipProgram@basf.com.