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Fast Start Training

Chemical Process Operator

Program Overview

This program has been highly successful -- over 84% of students have re-careered and received job offers. We work very closely with regional employers to assure that their hiring needs are met and to determine when they need qualified workers and how many. We then review the upcoming graduating class of academic students, and if there are not enough graduates to fill the hiring needs, we schedule a Fast Start (we want to be sure that we’re not training people for jobs that do not exist). We are currently working with Dow Chemical, Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor. These companies have indicated that hiring will remain strong with 60-80 job vacancies per year for the next several years.

Two Chemical Process Operator Options

Option #1— Associate Degree in Chemical Process Technology

Associates Degree in Chemical Process Technology (minimum 66 credits; previous college credits or military education can be considered toward degree requirements). The Chemical Process Technology and per-requisite classes will fill quickly -- so please register early.

Questions regarding the Academic Program should be directed to:

Delta College Counseling & Advising Center
Location: Room D-102 on Delta's Main Campus
Phone: 989-686-9330
Walk-in Appointment Schedule: 
Monday-Thursday  8am - 6pm
Friday 10am - 4pm

Option #2 — Chemical Process Operator Fast Start

The other option is our 520 hour accelerated Chemical Process Operator “Fast Start” program. Fast Start is a 13 week, 520 hour training program (40 hours per week in class plus assignments outside of class). This program is designed for individuals who have minimum ACT WorkKeys® scores, manufacturing experience, and previous college/training. Successful completers (based on instructional assessment standards and attendance) can earn up to 25 academic credits (CPI 110-260) toward the Chemical Process Technology Associate degree and be qualified to apply for employment as a Chemical Process Operator.

Preferred Candidate Qualifications

There will be 24 seats available. Positions/seats will be offered to the applicants who best meet the preferred candidate qualifications listed below. Students who are enrolled in the Chemical Process Technology Associate Degree program are not encouraged to apply for Fast Start.

ACT WorkKeys® Technical Skills Assessments:

Overview of ACT WorkKeys® Technical Skills Assessments:
The following six assessments are required for the Pre-Chemical Process Fast Start Program. You must provide a copy of your ACT WorkKeys® Scores.

  • Applied Mathematics - Level 5 Require; 5 required for employment
  • Reading for Information - Level 5 Required; 5 required for employment
  • Locating Information - Level 5 Required; 5 required for employment
  • Applied Technology  - Level 4 required for employment
  • Observation - Level 5 required for employment
  • Teamwork - Level 4 required for employment

ACT WorkKeys® can be taken through Delta College LifeLong Learning Testing Services for a fee of $20 per assessment. Please call 989-686-9444 or email to schedule your ACT WorkKeys® at Delta College.

Work Experience

A minimum of 1-2 years of work or military experience in a manufacturing, technical, or chemical occupation/field.

Provide a copy of your resume showing how you meet this criteria.
Provide a copy of your DD214 (if veteran).

Educational Experience

An associate or bachelor’s degree in a technical field from an accredited college or military training in a technical area is preferred, but not required.
Have you attended classes at Delta College? If so, please provide either your Student Number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. 

Provide a copy of your transcripts from other colleges (student copy is acceptable).
Provide information on military training (if not on DD214).


Cost: $5,400

Financial support may be available to those who qualify through Michigan Works! or the Veteran’s Administration. Pell grants and student loans are not available for this program.

Chemical Fast Start 11 Schedule

Class Dates:  October 1, 2014 – January 9, 2015


Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted until September 5th or until the class is filled.


Fill out the Chemical Fast Start 11 Application (PDF) and submit to:

Chemical Process Operator Fast Start

Delta College Corporate Services

Delta College, H Wing           

1961 Delta Road,  University Center, MI 48710

Fax: 989-758-3639



Local Employment Opportunities

Chemical employers (Dow Chemical, Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor) have openings for Chemical Process Operators.  The projected employment demand is for over 60-80 new hires annually.  Starting salaries are $13-20/per hour.


Chemical Process Operators: work with the handling, transporting, transferring, storage and disposal of chemicals and other materials in compliance with all state and federal regulations; they operate, troubleshoot, monitor, and control both continuous and batch processes; assemble, disassemble and stage reactor systems; line up and management of valving stations and headers; understand and use pneumatic tools and equipment; connect, disconnect, load, unload and manage tanker transfer stations; are knowledgeable and uphold the standards regarding health, safety, and the environment; interface with chemical engineers and tradesmen, technicians, and co-workers involved with these processes; hands on and management of normal equipment maintenance; calibrate instrumentation; and handling of medium to heavy tools, products and equipment.

Working Conditions: Chemical Process Operators work in teams and shifts to maintain and operate large manufacturing facilities 24 hours a day. The level of direct supervision varies by plant and company, but is typically minimal. Process Operators monitor the computers that run the plant working often in a control room environment and also in the field performing field work such as maintenance. Shift teams rotate day, afternoon, or night shifts because the manufacture of chemical products is a continuous process. Work weeks cover the weekends and operators often work overtime and occasionally they are required to cover shifts on holidays. All employees in a chemical plant have to wear safety helmets, goggles, safety shoes, gloves, and respirators. Chemical Process Operators may work in enclosed spaces or high places; may be required to climb ladders to storage tanks; and lift process equipment and product.

Chemical Process Operator Skills: Employers are looking for trained Chemical Process Operators who have the following skills and abilities (you must meet all of these criteria for employment):

  • Technical skills and can resolve technical problems
  • Initiative, personal integrity, and a commitment to life-long learning
  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • A willingness to work rotating shifts, weekends, holidays, and overtime
  • Basic computer skills
  • Have personal awareness of and commitment to safe work habits and behaviors
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds, operate valves and similar equipment, able to climb ladders/stairs, work at heights, and work in tight or closed-in spaces
  • A current, valid United States drivers license with no restrictions
  • Be able to pass a drug screen, background check, and medical exam prior to employment

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