BASF ECMS celebrates graduation of fourth cohort in Apprenticeship Program

June 28, 2024

BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) celebrated completion of the fourth cohort of apprentices from its North American Apprenticeship Program on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

The apprenticeship program is designed to help individuals without prior manufacturing experience enter the manufacturing environment. By focusing on non- traditional hires, the program has successfully transitioned individuals from various backgrounds, including the military, food service, and retail, into thriving manufacturing careers. The program has also enabled BASF ECMS to hire talented individuals who might not have been considered otherwise due to their lack of manufacturing experience.

Four dedicated apprentices, Andrew Bratcher, Anna Brewer, Destiny Hickman, and Hunter Watson successfully finished the 11-month training program – earning certifications and enhancing their skills for future careers in the manufacturing industry.

“These apprentices have adapted incredibly well to a new industry and are already making positive contributions to their departments. We’re proud of their hard work and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow and advance in their careers,” said Elba Lizardi, site director for BASF ECMS in Seneca.

Throughout the program, the apprentices obtained OSHA 10 safety certification, White Belt Six Sigma Certification, and completed Creating Safety Involvement (CSI) training for safety observations in the plant. Additionally, they were awarded a certificate in Process Technology from Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) and an apprenticeship certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor. They also received a pay raise upon completing the program.

“We are proud of the nearly 30 apprentices who have graduated from this program since it began in 2021,” said Bryan Manuel, dean of Integrated Workforce Solutions at Tri-County Technical College. “This program exemplifies the power of education and industry partnership in creating a skilled workforce ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.”

Gene Durrance, BASF ECMS apprenticeship coordinator, highlighted the camaraderie and growth observed in the group, noting that their diverse backgrounds did not hinder their ability to come together as a team. A memorable moment was when the apprentices came to class in matching outfits as a lighthearted joke, demonstrating their unity and team spirit.

The culmination of their training was marked by a capstone project, where the apprentices designed and built a mini evaporative cooling tower using a five-gallon bucket and a small bilge pump. This project showcased their practical skills and teamwork, involving roles such as supply chain management, quality assurance, operations, and project leadership. The apprentices presented their project at the celebration ceremony at TCTC’s Oconee Campus, explaining its construction, functionality, and the continuous improvement mindset they adopted.

“Completing this apprenticeship has been a transformative experience. As a recent high school graduate with limited work experience, the skills and certifications I’ve gained have opened doors for my future, and the support from both BASF ECMS and Tri-County Technical College has been invaluable,” said apprentice Hunter Watson.

“This program has been a game-changer for me. As a mom, the flexibility and support allowed me to advance my career while still being there for my child. The skills I’ve gained have empowered me to build a better future for us,” said apprentice Destiny Hickman.

To learn more about BASF’s recycling business, visit


About BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions

Leveraging its deep expertise as a global leader in catalysis and precious metals, BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) serves customers in many industries including automotive, aerospace, indoor air quality, semiconductors, and hydrogen economy, and provides full loop services with its precious metals trading and recycling offering. With a focus on circular solutions and sustainability, ECMS is committed to helping our customers create a cleaner, more sustainable world. Protecting the elements of life is our purpose and this inspires us to ever-new solutions. ECMS operates globally in 15 countries with over 4,500 employees and 20 production sites.

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit