WACKER FAQs

What jobs are available?
Answer: 

Apprentice positions are available as Chemical Operator Apprentices and Maintenance Apprentices. 

 

How long is the program?
Answer: 

The program lasts five semesters to provide the students with a mixture of academic instruction and work experience. Students in the Chemical Operator Apprentice role will spend one day per week in OJT in the Fall and Spring semesters and two days per week in OJT in the Summer. Apprentices working as E&I or Mechanical Maintenance Technicians will spend two days per week in OJT throughout the program. 

 

When are classes scheduled?
Answer: 

The classes are scheduled from 7:45 am to 2:45 pm Monday through Friday. The academic schedule will be similar to the main campus schedule with holidays and breaks within and between semesters. Some adjustments to the semester start and end dates will be made to accommodate the WACKER training schedule. 

 

Where will the program be taught?
Answer: 

All academic classes and laboratories will be taught at the state-of-the-art WACKER Institute on the Chattanooga State main campus.

Where will on-the-job training (OJT) occur?
Answer: 

OJT will occur at the WACKER Polysilicon NA plant in Charleston, TN. 

 

Will I be paid for working in the plant?
Answer: 

Yes. Students will be paid a “training” rate of $12 per hour for year one, and $13 per hour for year two. Students will not be paid for time spent driving to and from the Charleston, TN plant. 

 

What shift will I work?
Answer: 

All students will work on a 12-hour day shift. WACKER may require adjustments to the hours and days worked depending on the plant production schedule but will attempt to work with the student to find a “best fit”. 

 

Can I work for WACKER while in the program?
Answer: 

No. The shift schedule of the plant will not allow a student to work full time and attend college at the same time. 

 

What kind of credentials will I receive?
Answer: 

Successful students will receive an Associate of Applied Science in either Engineering Technology, or Engineering Systems Technology, or Mechatronic Systems. There are also embedded technical certificates associated with each AAS degree program. 

 

Do I register as a student during the OJT semesters?
Answer: 

Yes, continuous registration for all semesters is required to maintain student status and financial aid. Additionally, you must 
remain enrolled in the WACKER Institute to continue in the OJT program. Leaving the WACKER Institute represents the end of your OJT program as well.  Discontinuation of your employment as a WACKER Apprentice; however, does not mean that you may no longer attend the WACKER Institute. 

 

How much will the program cost?
Answer: 

The cost of the program will vary by semester. Students will pay the same tuition and fees as normal Chattanooga State Community College students based on the number of credit-hours taken. 

 

What if I already have college credit?
Answer: 

Some of the classes have specific elements and must be taken within the WACKER Institute program. Prior credit can be accepted for other classes. A Chattanooga State advisor will need to look at your transcripts to determine which credits will apply.

Is financial aid available?
Answer: 

Yes. Students are eligible for Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Hope Scholarship, Federal Pell Grant and student loans. Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) online to qualify for the financial aid. 

 

Am I guaranteed a spot in the program if I enroll in Chattanooga State Community College?
Answer: 

No. There is a competitive process to be admitted into the Apprentice Program.

How important is the interview?
Answer: 

The interview is one of the key factors in the application process and should be considered as important as a job interview. The WACKER Apprentice Interview Committee will be looking for students who have the ability and desire to train with WACKER Polysilicon NA. 

 

Why is there a drug test and a physical?
Answer: 

WACKER wants to maintain a safe workplace for all employees. Students must pass the same requirements for employment as full-time employees. Students may be selected for random drug testing throughout the program and must adhere to and comply with WACKER’s standards and policies to remain in the program. 

 

Will I get WACKER benefits while in the program?
Answer: 

Apprentices are not full-time employees and therefore will not be eligible for health/dental insurance or other benefits.

Will I be treated differently than regular employees?
Answer: 

No, while in the OJT program all Apprentices are subject to the same code-of-conduct and performance standards as full-time employees of WACKER and an Apprentices’ employment relationship with WACKER may be terminated on an at-will basis while in the OJT program. 

 

Does being an Apprentice mean I will have a full-time job when I graduate?
Answer: 

Being an Apprentice is not a guarantee of a full-time job upon graduation. Although our preference is to hire from the program-participation in and completion of the program does not guarantee you a job with WACKER.