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UVI Process Technology Program Gains Two Corporate Partnerships

The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) and Seven Seas Water will partner with and support the UVI Process Technology Program by providing scholarships, internships and employment opportunities to UVI students.

The V.I. Waste Management Authority has pledged to provide two $3,000 scholarships to students enrolled in the UVI Process Technology Program annually and one internship per semester to a UVI Process Technology Program student. Graduates of the UVI Process Technology Program will be considered for employment at VIWMA Waste Water Treatment facilities in the territory.

The VIWMA scholarship and internship program will be named in honor of Sonya D. Nelthropp, a former executive director and past chief planning officer of the VIWMA, who passed away earlier this year. The program will be called the Sonya D. Nelthropp Environmental Sciences Scholarship and Internship Program.

Eric Douglas, director of UVI's Process Technology Program, said the VIWMA's commitment is essential.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the VIWMA," Douglas said, "particularly Human Resources Director Shanelle Baron and VIWMA Executive Director May Adams Cornwall, for this wonderful gesture and support."

Seven Seas Water, which recently hired one graduate of the UVI Process Technology Program, has agreed to provide one annual $4,000 UVI scholarship to the program. Seven Seas Water has also agreed to provide at least one internship per semester to a UVI student enrolled in the program.
Seven Seas Water operates reverse osmosis desalination plants at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority power plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

"The commitment by Seven Seas Water is further evidence of businesses partnering with the University in an attempt to meet the needs of the community," Douglas said.

UVI Process Technology Program graduates are gainfully employed at local process industries including Cruzan Rum, Diageo USVI LLC, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, and Seven Seas Water.

Process technicians are individuals who have acquired the skills and knowledge to startup, operate, shutdown, analyze and troubleshoot industrial processes. These professionals are employed in process industries that include rum distilleries, power generation, water and wastewater treatment, oil and gas, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals. The skills developed as a process technician are transferrable nationally and globally. Starting salaries for process technicians range from $40,000 to $50,000 per year.

According to the American Chemical Society (ACS) there are approximately 800,000 process technicians in the United States and 80 percent of them are "baby boomers" who will retire in the next 10 to 15 years. This translates into tremendous job opportunities for young people who decide to pursue this field of study.

The end of the Spring 2012 semester marked the culmination of 10 years of continuous sponsorship of the UVI Process Technology Program by HOVENSA LLC, which resulted in 97 students having obtained their associate's degree in process technology.

To obtain information about the UVI Process Technology Program or to apply, please contact Prof. Eric Douglas at (340) 692-4153 or by email at edougla@uvi.edu.