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POET Plant Technician Intern in Big Stone City, South Dakota


At POET, it is our mission to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources to energy and other valuable goods as effectively as humanly possible. For over thirty years our drive and passion to change the world has enabled us to become the largest producer and marketer of biofuels in the world.


Our nearly 30 biorefining facilities produce over 2 billion gallons of ethanol, billions of pounds of Dakota Gold distillers grain animal feed and hundreds of millions of pounds of our Voila corn oil. That’s a lot of product! We also provide additional plant-based products into several important markets including CO2 for the food and beverage industry, purified alcohol for sanitizing products, as well as JIVE, a product that contributes to more sustainable roadways by helping to recycle old asphalt. We also buy over 650 million bushels of corn per year from local producers. It is our role at POET Biorefining to ensure safe, efficient, and profitable operations at each facility.


The Plant Technician Intern will learn the operation of plant processing equipment and perform routine basic maintenance in a highly automated chemical facility. In the area of maintenance, Plant Technician Interns will learn the safe and efficient maintenance, basic repair, and cleaning of equipment associated with bioprocessing processes. At times, Plant Technician Interns may be asked to assist Maintenance Technicians in more technical and complex maintenance procedures. Team members in this position are will gain knowledge of the process flow, computerized equipment, and be aware of hazards associated with the process as well as learn, understand, and execute standard operating procedures (SOPs). Continuous plant operation may require 12-hour shift work. Plant Technician Intern must be able to adapt to 12-hour workdays and be able to meet call-in requirements if needed.


  • Use your knowledge to maintain and operate all processes associated with the plant where required.

  • Perform maintenance and basic repairs of plant equipment and document these activities.

  • Operate the DCS (Distributed Control System) for the plant.

  • Safely perform basic electrical troubleshooting.

  • Follow procedures for plant start-up, shut-down, cleaning, and batching.

  • Maintain accurate and timely logs.

  • Collect and test quality control samples, interpret QA/QC results and make adjustments to optimize plant operations, timely and accurately document results and enter results into our data collection system, PI.

  • Assist in removal, installation, rebuild, and performance of preventive and predictive maintenance on all equipment associated with plant processes.

  • Help to keep your plant clean by following the sanitation schedule and completing all tasks as assigned.

  • Notify the management team of safety, environmental, quality and production concerns, problems and opportunities.

  • Keep your plant safe by fostering a culture of safe behavior and environmental compliance.

  • Maintain a team environment at all times and champion POET in the community.

  • Since we’re all about teamwork and getting the job done, your skill may be put to a lot of other uses!


  • High school diploma or equivalent required.

  • Currently attending accredited learning institution related to bio-processing, energy production, or plant maintenance.

  • Working knowledge in math, reading comprehension and mechanical reasoning required.

  • Ability to troubleshoot and solve problems.

  • Experience with software systems, such as Maximo, preferred.

  • Excellent organizational, time management, and communication skills as well as the ability to embrace change.

  • You have the ability to understand technical and day to day operation of a bioprocessing facility.

  • You know the basics of Microsoft Office Suite. You’re capable of learning new programs.


    At POET we believe in recognizing team member contributions as they add value to the organization. Team member skills and contributions are frequently assessed and recognized through incentives and title progression. New team member titles and pay are determined considering their qualifications.


  • Culture is king at POET. We’re all on the same team. We always communicate. And we park our egos at the door. These aren’t just slogans on our walls. It’s the way we do things at POET.

  • Team members will be required to adhere to all safety requirements at all times and in all work environments. This position is exposed to work in multiple environments, including plant, laboratory, as well as an office environment. You may be exposed to high noise levels, moving mechanical parts, dusty conditions, internal and external temperature/weather conditions, and chemicals.

  • Specific physical requirements may include:

  • Occasionally lifting weight up to sixty (60) pounds.

  • Climbing several flights of stairs and ladders.

  • Opening valves. o Occasionally bending, twisting and turning while lifting weight of less than fifty (50) pounds.

  • Data entry while seated for greater than one (1) hour.

  • Walking up to two (2) or more miles per day.

  • Pushing brooms, shovels, etc.

  • Working at heights, in confined spaces and at temperatures from -20 to +100 degrees.

  • Standing for extended periods of time.

  • Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

  • Using hand and power tools.

    POET is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status.

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Job ID 2021-4340

Employment Type Intern

Category Internship

Shift Day

Travel Required None

Position Location(s)US-SD-Big Stone City

FLSA Status Non-Exempt