LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - SOWELA Technical Community College on Wednesday held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Phillips 66 Process Technology Center.
School officials said in 2006, Phillips 66 -- then ConocoPhillips -- donated $2 million to the school to construct a new industrial technology building after the campus sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Rita.
"This day has been long in coming, but worth the wait given the beautiful state-of-the art facility we see here today," said Dr. Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of SOWELA. "This building is a great example of a partnership between education and industry that provides many benefits. The students benefit from an industry-specific training facility, the community benefits because citizens have an avenue to pursue training that leads to good jobs, the industry benefits by having a trained pool of workers from which to choose, and the college benefits from funding during times of budget reductions."
Willie Tempton Jr., Phillips 66 refinery manager, said, "This program is important to industry in the area because SOWELA provides us with well trained operators, and given the recent announcements of expansion and new projects, the demand for a highly qualified workforce will only increase in the years ahead. We take pride in supporting our local community and this building which bears our name."
Officials said the Phillips 66 Process Technology building consists of 12,500-square-feet of instruction, simulation and office space.
It houses six classrooms, two computer labs, nine offices, a main lab with six plant simulations and one operator control room.
Construction took approximately 14 months to complete.
KPLC's Theresa Schmidt was at the event and will have more on later editions.