Let’s say you decided to get a communications degree or an art degree in college, thinking it would lead to a high-paying job. I would probably ask you to take the money you were going to spend and throw into the nearest bonfire. On the other hand, if you said you were in a two-year chemical engineering degree program specifically set up to get you a job at a soon-to-open solar panel plant, I’d say that sounds like a reasonable idea.
But it turns out that less than half the people that went through APSU’s program are going to be working at the Hemlock Semiconductor plant this year. Wait, what’s that?
WSMV-TV (RIP Bill Hall) revealed that only 35 out of 84 students have been picked up by Hemlock, according to Austin Peay State University estimates. The prez of APSU, Tim Hall, said that 10 other grads have picked up employment with other companies. Presumably these companies will utilize their chemical engineering skills (i.e. mixing vinegar and oil to create delicious salad dressings at O’Charley’s).
Hemlock themselves didn’t want to talk to WSMV on camera (but then again who would want to f’ with Demetria), but did say that employment was not guaranteed.
So…much like people that went to clown college in the 80’s thinking “Circus of the Stars” was just the beginning to America’s renewed love affair with big tops, Clarksville area residents have been roped into the fanfare for the upcoming Hemlock plant. Beginning with the last mayor and governor (Piper and Bredesen), Clarksville’s love affair with solar power panels has been unstoppable.
Answer me this, will you be installing solar panels on your home this year? Don’t half-ass an answer, talking about saving the environment when you don’t believe in using the tech yourself. There may be a day when it’s affordable for you and me, but that ain’t today. Despite this fact, we’re hoping this great white hope saves the Clarksville job market and makes us a mega-force to be reckoned with. We hope everyone else invests in technology we don’t necessarily want yet.
In the meantime, people are getting degrees that won’t get them a job where they expected. But that’s not any different than most college grads, is it? Well, that’s unless you’re doing nursing or education, but that’s not the point. I think that there was a huge misconception about what the HSC and APSU partnership was going to do. People went in thinking that they would automatically be on the ground floor of the fancy new factory, ready to be the next boat marina millionaire.
It’s not so different from responding to an ad in the newspaper looking for “YOUNG ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE 18-25 FOR MODELING”, not knowing that all you’ll be doing is traveling in a black van trying to sell magazines door-to-door. At least it was only two years.
On the plus side, they might be able to get a comparable job NOT in Clarksville. If that’s the case, then win/win, right?