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Online Chemical Operator Program

Consider this fact:

The chemical processing industry is beginning to experience what it has long anticipated — a severe shortage of skilled technicians, caused by two primary factors:

  • The onslaught of baby-boomers retiring from the workforce
  • The modernization of plants with state-of-the-art equipment and new processing methods which require enhanced knowledge and skills.

The WSCC Workforce Development office, in cooperation with the World Engineering Xchange, stands ready to help by offering a proven, comprehensive, Online Chemical Operator Program (OCOP) that provides curriculum certification.

Program Overview

This popular 32-credit hour program consists of courses covering basic mechanical systems, fundamental safety, health and environmental issues, basic math and science, workplace communications, and the computer and Internet skills necessary for online learning.

In addition to having a broad understanding of chemical processes, the chemical operator of today must possess advanced knowledge of mechanical and electrical processes, and have a solid background in math, science, and computer skills.

He or she must also be team oriented and able to communicate effectively with all levels of plant management.

Chemical Operator (Online)

Gainful Employment Data


Course listings with descriptions of each class may be found in the Washington State Community College Catalog.


Online Chemical Operator Program: A Case Study

Client: Orion Engineered Carbons

"Washington State has been very responsive not only to the company needs, but to the students' needs."
— Donnie Loubiere, Plant Manager
Orion Engineered Carbons, Belpre, OH

In 2006, representatives from the WSCC Workforce Development (WFD) office and the Industrial Technology academic staff met with Donnie Loubiere, plant manager at Orion Engineered Carbons' plant in Belpre, Ohio, to discuss a proposed Chemical Operator Program. The conversation focused on the value of upgrading employees' technical and critical thinking skills in order to deal with new, state-of-the-art equipment and processing methods being implemented at the plant. The need for improved decision-making and communication skills was also discussed.

Immediate Enthusiasm

Positive response to the meeting prompted a second presentation to Orion Engineered Carbons' corporate human resources, systems, and cost management personnel, who enthusiastically approved the program. WFD began presenting the merits of the training program to the entire Belpre plant management team, which instituted an employee incentive program that rewarded chemical operators for participating in the program.

Local Success

The initial Chemical Operator course (INDT 1010) focused on basic mechanical systems, fundamental safety, health and environmental issues, basic math and science, and, of course, instruction in how to use online training effectively. Before long, Orion Engineered Carbons chemical operators mastered the art of Internet-based learning and began communicating easily and effectively with fellow students and WFD faculty.

Widespread Enthusiasm

Soon, chemical operators at Orion Engineered Carbons facilities in Texas and Louisiana were participating in and benefiting from the program as well. The online delivery process enabled operators at these distant locations to access the same content offered at the Belpre facility.

Today, scores of chemical operators, employed by different companies in various regions of the country have improved their knowledge and skills through participation in WFD's Online Chemical Operator program. Click here to read some of their enthusiastic comments.


Contact to learn more:


Brenda Kornmiller
Dean, Business, Engineering, Industrial Technologies & Workforce Development
740.374.8716, ext. 1713


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