I wonder if I’m not in the wrong field. A recent story in the Chronicle of Higher Education has me wondering if I wouldn’t be better off in some sort of manufacturing extension service:
About 15 years ago, an enterprising Garden City faculty member named Gerald Hundley asked local employers what kinds of programs they’d like to see the college offer. It turned out that the food-processing companies that are the mainstays of the economy here needed training for the employees who operate the mammoth refrigeration systems on which their plants rely. For big companies, Mr. Babcock said, “the difference between operating efficiently and inefficiently can be millions a year in electricity and maintenance.”
In 1996 Mr. Hundley established the first program in the U.S. to teach people how to run ammonia-based refrigeration systems safely and economically. He has since retired, but the college now offers more than 40 weeklong training seminars every year that draw employees of major food processors, breweries, juice companies, and even skating rinks.
As I approach that section of the book, I will post more about the excitement, for me, of light industry. I think it’s one of south Louisiana’s strong suits and I think we’re missing the boat if we don’t find ways to nurture it more and encourage people to explore options beyond the oil industry.
Here’s the complete CHE story.