BASF hosts BHS students

Published 2:55 pm Friday, May 2, 2014


BASF Attapulgus Site Manager, Scott Pounds, center, answers questions for BHS students, Kyle Hemanes, left and Hunter Boyd. — Carolyn Iamon

Eight Bainbridge High School students had the opportunity to tour the BASF Attapulgus site in a job-sharing event held Thursday, May 1.

Scott Pounds, BASF site director, said this was the first time they have offered this opportunity to high school students, and credited Decatur County School Superintendent, Dr. Fred Rayfield and school board member Kevin Bouie with promoting the tour.

Pounds said the two came to him with the idea of making local high school students more aware of employment opportunities that exist in Decatur County, as well as what the job requirements are for those jobs.

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The students were led on a tour of the facilities where they observed four main job stations and were able to see the workers at their jobs.

This was followed by a question and answer session with BASF site leaders and employees.

One of the students, Hunter Boyd, said he didn’t know BASF was even there before. He has considered becoming a diesel mechanic, but said this experience has opened his mind more to new opportunities.

Kyle Hemanes, another student, said he knew BASF existed, but was not too sure what they did. He was impressed with how everything works together and how complex it all is.  He, too, has considered becoming a mechanic, perhaps with an airline.

Pounds pointed out the variety of jobs BASF has to offer, and the training required.

Pounds said BSAF is an international company with over 100,000 employees worldwide. Its headquarters are in Germany. There are 100 manufacturing sites in North America, and he went on to describe the ones located in the Southeastern states and what they do at each location. “Very few people in the world know what we do,” he added. The Sparks, Ga. plant specializes in agricultural applications, while the plant in Huntsville, Ala. makes catalytic converters for automobiles. BASF supplies the coating used on the converters.

One of the teachers asked what educational background the company is looking for in their employees. Pounds responded that it is important to have a strong background in math, science and additional vocational training beyond high school, especially in mechanical and electrical skills. He also stressed a certain maturity level that demonstrates the employee can handle the rigors of the manufacturing environment, and a strong concept of safety awareness.

Pounds said he was pleased with the interest from the students and that BASF plans to do this again in the future.