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Dr. Bindu Dhasmana, far left, department head of Pulp and Paper Technology at Halifax Community College, led a Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) VA-CA conference in Raleigh last spring. Students in the program also have the opportunity to attend TAPPI national and international conferences.

Established in 1998, the Pulp and Paper Technology curriculum at Halifax Community College (HCC) is designed to prepare individuals with a certificate, diploma or associate degree in science for careers in pulp and paper manufacturing and related industries. Traditional, online and hybrid classes are designed to accommodate full-time workers or shift workers.

Department Head Dr. Bindu Dhasmana says that opportunities after graduation are excellent. Graduates typically average a starting salary from $38,000-50,000 per year. Overall job placement is 99.9% for the program.

Expressing gratitude to the local paper company in Roanoke Rapids, Dhasmana said, "The local mill is always there to help us. All we have had to do is call."

Co-op students in the Pulp and Paper Technology program generally spend their summer working at the local mill le arning first-hand about paper mill processing and mill maintenance. The on-site paid training experience is an invaluable, unique opportunity.

Some of the top reasons to enroll in the program, according to Dhasmana, are a high starting salary range; the ability to transfer to a four-year program; the convenience of remaining in town while earning a degree; opportunities to visit different universities and paper mills and earn merit-based scholarships through the Paper Science and Engineering Foundation; chances to assist in research; and, entry into an indoor/outdoor, rewarding field of study.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program should contact Dr. Dhasmana at (252) 536-6397 for more details. The department celebrates the college's anniversary this week, Aug. 5-11.