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Dow Chemical – West Virginia Operations Rolls Out Apprenticeship Program


In 2018, Dow Chemical debuted its West Virginia Operations apprenticeship program. The program, registered by the United States Department of Labor, offers a hands-on, paid opportunity for young West Virginians interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing. Apprentices enroll in the Process Technology degree program through BridgeValley Community and Technical College, a partner with Dow West Virginia Operations.

Dow Chemical - West Virginia Operations rolls out apprenticeship program

Don Light is the Dow West Virginia Operations Apprentice Leader and actively recruits from Kanawha County high schools and career and technical education centers. Recruitment efforts are fueled by Dow employee engagement, encouraging young people to pursue manufacturing careers by sharing expertise and career stories. The apprenticeship program targets young men and women interested in pursuing a career as a Process Technician. The program supplements Dow’s other hiring initiatives and entry-level training programs for those technical specialties.

Dow covers tuition and books and guarantees apprentices 40 hours each week and a starting salary of $15 per hour. Apprentices participating in the program receive a specific benefits package, including medical insurance, company holidays, sick leave, personal time off, honor of military requirements and 401k after the first year.

Dow Chemical - West Virginia Operations rolls out apprenticeship program

By July 2022, 26 apprentices will have been brought into the program. 11 apprentices have completed their degrees and have transitioned into permanent full-time employment with the company.

The apprenticeship program allows for earning while learning, assists with retirement surge, and upskills the next generation. 94 percent of apprentices remain with the company once the apprenticeship learning period ends and every apprentice receives a nationally recognized credential from the United States Department of Labor.

Dow Chemical - West Virginia Operations rolls out apprenticeship program

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development’s Apprenticeship In Motion (AIM) program promotes and expands registered, nontraditional apprenticeship activity in the Mountain State. The AIM team collaborates and partners with state and federal agencies to help company’s solve workforce challenges. 

To learn more about apprenticeships in West Virginia, contact our Apprenticeship Program Coordinators:

Leanne Stowers
Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
Leanne.D.Stowers@wv.gov

Dave Lavender
Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
David.L.Lavender@wv.gov

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