In less than a year since the opening of the new Process Technology & Instrumentation (PRT) facilities at Kenai Peninsula College Kenai River Campus, the program has produced amazing results for students and industry looking for qualified workers. According to Henry Haney, PRT department chair at KPC the PRT courses are currently rated in the top 1% in the nation and probably the world, “It’s true we’ve been audited by a number of international corporations like Chevron and the National Petroleum Technology Assoc. and they have ranked us in the top one percent as far as schools that turn out process technology and industrial instrumentation grads,” said Haney at a recent luncheon and facilities tour for the Alaska Support Industry Alliance. Haney says the PRT course gives students an equivalent of on the job experience that prepares them to go to work and be productive for their employer, “There is still a lot that needs to be learned hands on in the oilfield, but we lay down a base knowledge that replaces the way a new hire would be mentored in the oil patch and gives them an idea of the language, how things work, the math behind it, procedures and the students are able to be put to work and actually gives the student an equivalent of 3-7 years of on the job training to be at that same level, so the degree is a great benefit financially for the student,” he said.
The benefits represent huge saving for industry as well says Haney, “Our students go out of here and become class act operators immediately and many of them quickly are moved up into supervisory positions and are depended on because they have the knowledge base to do those things and that is a great benefit to employers.” Another benefit that the facilities at KPC offer to industry is the availability of the new housing units for on-site training, “It’s a great opportunity with the top notch facilities that provide the equipment for their training with housing right across the street during summer for companies to bring their people here for advanced training and provide beautiful new housing for overnights, breaks where their people live, play, talk and digest what they’ve been learning,” said Tammie Willis, KPC director of residence life. Recently Baker Hugh’s flew a recruiting team to KPC recently and put on a dinner just to have first pick at our students reported Haney, “That’s just one example we’ve BP here, Hilcorp, Udelhoven has come by and there is quite a list of companies competing for our PRT students,” he said. Haney says that the PRT faculty is a mix of those with academic backgrounds and those with experiential background, “It’s typical for our instructors to have both an academic background and like myself a broad based experiential background in the industry.”
The Kenai Chapter of the Alliance said they were happy with the turnout of over a hundred of their members and may make the networking day an annual event.