CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - With all the industry development underway, hundreds of jobs are coming to the Lake Area - jobs that provide benefits and can earn you up to six figures a year.
But you need the proper training for these positions.
Charlotte Guillory is just weeks away from graduating from a six-month course to become a pipefitter.
"It definitely provided me with the new sense of confidence that I can do something because with determination and support you can do anything," said Guillory.
Pipefitting is something a little different than Guillory's previous career.
"I retired from the school system, so I decided to take a different career path," she said. "I heard about the program that was offered in my church and I decided to apply for the workforce scholarship program."
Guillory is a recipient of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana's Workforce Training Scholarship Program, which was started by Sasol to advance and better the lives and careers for those who need a change.
"I've learned a lot," she said. I was nervous coming into the program as a female coming into a male dominated program, but thanks for the awesome instructor I was able to get relaxed."
Guillory said she's excited to learn a different craft.
Other than the six-month course the students go through in the trade they want to learn, they get matched up with a career counselor and a mentor.
Guillory says her mentor helped her overcome the fear of switching from a school system to an industrial environment.
"My mentor was an educator that went into industries, so she help me out a lot with that," she said.
Over 100 students have already gone through the program, and many are employed with contracting companies around the area.
Sara Judson, CEO of the Community Foundation, says this program does a lot more than train someone for a trade - it's changing lives, and the foundation wants more students to be able to take advantage.
"We are so pleased with the success of people who maybe didn't see that they had an opportunity," said Judson. "We are finding that is fairly common: that sometimes people see themselves in one certain place in life, in one certain career opportunity, and with the help of a mentor and a scholarship to go to school and awesome instructors at ABC in so well as they are now having good paying jobs with benefits, and really not only changing their life, but the life of their whole family."
For more information about how to apply for the scholarship, visit the Community Foundation's website HERE, or call 337-491-6688.