Officials: AAR move to Lake Charles will bring $3.7M to SOWELA for training

School officials are shown with Gov. Bobby Jindal and AAR officials. (Source: SOWELA)
School officials are shown with Gov. Bobby Jindal and AAR officials. (Source: SOWELA)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Friday's announcement that AAR Corporation is opening a mutli-million dollar aircraft maintenance and repair operation in Lake Charles at the Chennault International Airport will bring $3.7 million to SOWELA to upgrade and expand its aviation program.

The money will be used to "provide an ever-increasing number of highly trained students skilled in aviation technology," according to a news release from the college.
"This is a very important day for SOWELA," said Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Chancellor, "as the college is uniquely positioned to become a key source of the training needed by the workers who will be employed by AAR as well as Northrop Grumman, both of which are literally next door. This also enhances and further supports our reputation of providing skilled workers to specialized industries." 
"We have already started the process of hiring top caliber instructors in the aviation field," said Dr. Rick Bateman, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Student Success, "and having the support of the Governor, the parish-wide business and civic leadership, the Chennault International Airport Authority and the City of Lake Charles' Economic Development Alliance in bringing AAR means that SOWELA will be able to add the faculty and facilities we need to attract students to the aviation technology field knowing that jobs are waiting for them right across the runway."
"AAR will be needing all sorts of trained personnel, "said Dr. Joseph Fleishman, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development, "and having an industry leader like AAR as a partner will mean that SOWELA will be able to provide specialized training that meet the high demand jobs AAR will have available."

Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College is a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

It is based in Lake Charles and also operates the Morgan Smith facility in Jennings.

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