LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Around 50 thousand miles of pipelines stretch across Louisiana, with many intersecting in Southwest Louisiana.
The TC Energy Pipeline Academy at SOWELA, the only one of its kind in the state, is providing industry knowledge to those entering the workforce and those looking to expand their skill sets.
“If you look at the existing aging workforce, and the increase of natural gas coming into Southwest Louisiana because of the LNG terminals, there is expected to be a huge demand in the industry,” says Mitchell Heuring, program coordinator.
In an effort to make sure locals are ready for those jobs, Heuring says SOWELA is working with companies like CITGO, Targa, and Enbridge among others, to develop a curriculum.
“We put together about a dozen of the local pipeline companies and collaborated. We came up with 30 or 40 points, that they wanted to see in the program and we actually built a curriculum to go along with what they asked.”
They’re creating a ‘pipeline’ of sorts straight from SOWELA classrooms to the workforce.
“When you’re training on the job, you get the training as it becomes available. Here we’re going to spend 40 hours a week really fast-tracking your knowledge.”
Launching now, the program aims to set students up for success providing both classroom and hands-on training.
“We’ll start out with the indoor trainers but also at the end of the year, we’re going to add an outdoor pipeline loop. That loop, the final design will come from notes the industry gives us from this first curriculum. We’ll take that feedback and design this first outdoor loop.”
The first 10-week pipeline technician program is set to begin May 24th.
There’s an information session, this Thursday.
For more information, including how to sign-up, click HERE.