Women capitalizing on jobs in SWLA plants - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Women capitalizing on jobs in SWLA plants

Valerie Burnett, Operator at Sasol Valerie Burnett, Operator at Sasol
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - As we previously reported, technical schools like SOWELA have seen a tremendous increase in female students studying in fields like Process Technology or PTEC.

And with the jobs wide-open for them, many women are capitalizing on the opportunity to work in the local plants.

Last week KPLC spoke with two female PTEC students at SOWELA who hope to work in the plants once they graduate.

While both already intern at local plants, they had some concerns entering a mostly male environment.

Today we share the experience of a former SOWELA PTEC student who now works at Sasol.

“I'm an Operator here at Sasol. I'm a second controller in the alcohol unit,” explained Valerie Burnett.

Burnett says some of her job duties include she, “Monitor the process, take samples and bring them to the lab for analysis.”

But her career starts back in 2009 when she graduated from SOWELA with a PTEC degree. Even then she recalls an increase in females in her classes.

“There were a lot of females going to school with me and I had classes with them,” said Burnett.

Between fall 2012 and fall 2013, SOWELA reported a 100% increase in females entering PTEC fields. Now, even plants are seeing that increase.

“We have seen a large influx of female candidates as we've seen the talent pool increase. We're happy to see that. Several institutions here are offering the training and development for them to be able to come into the fields,” explained Nicole Moncrief, Sr. Human Resources at Sasol.

Moncrief says their recruitment plan specifically looks at diversity, “Our plan looks at females as well as veterans and military personnel as well.”

Many of those jobs are already here or coming soon.

“Between now and the end of our project, we're projecting upward of 1,200 positions here of direct hires for Sasol,” said Moncrief.

And candidates interested in operational positions are encouraged to go to the Business and Career Solutions Center, because as Moncrief says, preparation is key.

“They can assist them and help them get onto the application and it's not just for Sasol, it's for all industry,” explained Moncrief.

While some may have reservations about working in a mostly male environment, Burnett says to just go for it, “Have confidence."

As with any job though, Burnett says there will be challenges.

“Sometimes I may need help but they're there to help me if I need it,” said Burnett, referring to her colleagues.

With tools and technology, it's not so much about physical strength anymore, but Burnett says that doesn't make the job easy.

“You're also climbing towers that are 300 feet in the air, you have to work in the hot weather, freezing cold weather, and rain,” said Burnett.

Despite that, Burnett says it's the best career she could've picked. And four years into it, she says she’s, “Still loving it.”

Additional resources and information here:

http://www.laworks.net/

http://allianceswla.org/workforce-economic-development

http://www.cppj.net/index.aspx?page=416

Part 1: http://www.kplctv.com/story/26107784/female-enrollment-increases-100-percent-in-sowelas-ptec-program

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.


  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rain chances going down next week; Alberto is now in the Gulf

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rain chances going down next week; Alberto is now in the Gulf

    Saturday, May 26 2018 6:00 PM EDT2018-05-26 22:00:06 GMT
    Rain stays to our east on Memorial DayRain stays to our east on Memorial Day
    Rain stays to our east on Memorial DayRain stays to our east on Memorial Day

    After sunset, most of the rain will come to an end with the exception of a storm or two. Those will also wind down closer to 9:00 or 10:00. Most of the clouds will clear away, and the rain chances go back down to zero after midnight. The temperatures will still be warm and muggy tonight. Lows will be in the lower to mid 70s. Sunday will also have a few storms develop in the afternoon, but it will not be as many storms as we saw today. 

    More >>

    After sunset, most of the rain will come to an end with the exception of a storm or two. Those will also wind down closer to 9:00 or 10:00. Most of the clouds will clear away, and the rain chances go back down to zero after midnight. The temperatures will still be warm and muggy tonight. Lows will be in the lower to mid 70s. Sunday will also have a few storms develop in the afternoon, but it will not be as many storms as we saw today. 

    More >>
  • Phone lines down at Vinton Police Department

    Phone lines down at Vinton Police Department

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:32:51 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Vinton Police Department's phone lines are down due to a lightning storm, according to Ricky Fox, police chief of VPD. Fox advises any Vinton residents with an emergency to call 911 directly. KPLC will notify the public once the lines are back up. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Vinton Police Department's phone lines are down due to a lightning storm, according to Ricky Fox, police chief of VPD. Fox advises any Vinton residents with an emergency to call 911 directly. KPLC will notify the public once the lines are back up. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Free child passenger safety seat check in Lake Charles

    Free child passenger safety seat check in Lake Charles

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:29 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:29:54 GMT
    (Source: Pablo)(Source: Pablo)

    This Saturday, the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force is hosting a free child passenger safety seat check event in Lake Charles, according to Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police.  Anyone who transports a young child in a vehicle is encouraged to take advantage of this service. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths in children, many of which can be prevented with proper seat checks, says Anderson.  Anderson says nationally certified child passen...

    More >>

    This Saturday, the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force is hosting a free child passenger safety seat check event in Lake Charles, according to Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police.  Anyone who transports a young child in a vehicle is encouraged to take advantage of this service. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths in children, many of which can be prevented with proper seat checks, says Anderson.  Anderson says nationally certified child passen...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly