CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WACKER POLYSILICON, an international chemical company that specializes in the production of polysilicon (a key ingredient for solar power panels), opened the innovative new WACKER INSTITUTE today in Chattanooga, Tenn. The institute, which is on the Chattanooga State Community College campus, will serve as a cutting-edge tech training program for future WACKER employees.
"The concept of the WACKER INSTITUTE is a pioneering and innovative learning experience that both Chattanooga State and WACKER jointly feel is consistent and symbolic of the principle of investing in a sustainable future," said Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president and CEO of Wacker Chemical Corp. "While we might be hard-pressed to understand what the future may hold, it is always the present world in which we live where the future is created."
The WACKER INSTITUTE—a $5 million pilot plant and training facility— is part of the engineering technology division at Chattanooga State Community College.
"At the WACKER INSTITUTE, students will be equipped with the skills necessary for a successful career in one of the world's most exciting and important industries," said Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, vice president and site manager for WACKER POLYSILICON in Charleston, Tenn. "Our excellence in polysilicon technology is deeply rooted, based on over half a century of experience on this front. The WACKER INSTITUTE will provide to us a pipeline of highly skilled workers who will serve WACKER and our customers well for many years to come."
"We need a very sophisticated workforce at our plant; this is a highly technical production process," said Dr. Erika Burk, WACKER POLYSILICON's director of human resources. "We developed a partnership with Chattanooga State to form a program that will ensure our future employees are fully trained and ready to work when our plant begins operation next year."
About WACKER POLYSILICON
WACKER POLYSILICON is a global leader in the production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. Its product portfolio also includes pyrogenic silica, chlorosilanes and salt. Polysilicon is used throughout the semiconductor industry and in the growing photovoltaics sector. In 2010, the WACKER POLYSILICON division of Wacker Chemie AG generated around 25 percent of the company's sales.
WACKER POLYSILICON in Charleston, Tenn. is scheduled to begin operation by the end of 2013. The plant will employ some 650 full-time workers.
SOURCE WACKER POLYSILICON