Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation have partnered to open a new $1 million, 1,800-square-foot Process Training Unit (PTU) at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in West Virginia.

The BridgeValley PTU is designed to be a go-to place for companies that are seeking workforce training for their employees and customers, and for students to utilize as they pursue their degree programs. The PTU combines theory and a hands-on approach to provide participants with real-world experience in a safe, working process environment, Endress+Hauser says.

“By working alongside BridgeValley and other universities, Endress+Hauser can help secure the talent pipeline and better prepare our next-generation workforce for successful careers in the field of process control and automation,” said Brandyn Ferguson, vice president of Human Resources, Endress+Hauser. “The innovative approach we have taken at BridgeValley is truly unique to the industry.”

The PTU is outfitted to help students and customers gain experience with the types of operation, diagnostics and troubleshooting found in real-life process plants. It features the latest Endress+Hauser flow, level, temperature, pressure and analytical instrumentation, two 350-gallon tanks, in addition to the PlantPAx process control system donated by Rockwell Automation. The PlantPAx process automation system will be used in a functioning environment with field devices to train customers for operation and maintenance of process systems. In addition, it provides a venue for demonstrations of Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation technology and a regional resource for customers to obtain hands-on training in a controlled environment.

“A key aspect of our role in the community is to partner with industry leaders to provide technical education necessary to keep our companies competitive and jobs in West Virginia,” said BridgeValley President Dr. Jo Harris. “Our collaboration with Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation allows students and local companies to receive real-world experience in a controlled learning environment.”

The  partnership is between BridgeValley, manufacturers Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation, and the sales and service company Forberg Scientific Inc.