As industrial technology continues to evolve, students must have the proper training in order to be qualified in the workforce. The Alvin Community College Process Technology program recently acquired new equipment to better prepare students for what they’ll encounter on the job.
“The equipment used in the program gives our students hands-on experience operating processes that are similar to units our industry partners have in their facilities,” said David Westmoreland, ACC Process Technology instructor. “These items are miniature versions of processes used in the refining and petrochemical plants our students could become employed in.”
With $324,139 awarded through the Texas Workforce Commission, the college recently purchased a distillation column and a reactor which demonstrate practices commonly used in Process Technology.
“Both the distillation column and chemical reactor simulate the same processes used in the refining and petrochemical plants,” said Don Parus, Process Technology chair. “This column actually separates the components of diesel fuel by boiling range and allows students to visible see this separation. This is the only PTEC program in the region that has such a system.”
There is additional equipment that will soon be acquired for the Process Technology labs sometime in the next month.
“The two remaining pieces of equipment are a three-phase separator (oil-water-gas) and a desalter model, both are utilized in the petrochemical industry,” Parus said.
The grant was issued through the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program earlier this year. The JET program provides funding for equipment to eligible educational institutions for the purpose of developing career and technical education courses and may include courses offering dual-credit and technical education programs. Equipment funded through JET grants must be used to train students for jobs in high-demand occupations.
ACC was one of 41 colleges and school districts to receive a portion of the $10.38 million awarded this past year.
For more information about the Process Technology program visit www.alvincollege.edu/process-technology.