East Iberville Workforce Initiative offers free training

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

ST. GABRIEL - The chemical industry in East Iberville Parish has a need for skilled, trained workers to operate their facilities and is committed to hiring local qualified community residents to fill these positions.

Industries located in the community want to ensure local residents have the skills required to be hired. To accomplish this, chemical plants in East Iberville Parish are sponsoring The East Iberville Workforce Development Initiative to offer free training for well paying careers in high demand, process operations and industrial construction.

Training in process operations begins with the basics, the Introduction to Process Technology (PTEC 101). This course introduces students to a career as a process operator and provides students a foundation to continue their studies in process technology at Baton Rouge or River Parishes community and technical colleges.

The training in industrial construction will focus on the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core Curriculum which prepares participants for continued training and certification in industrial construction careers such as pipefitters, welders, electricians, mechanics and skilled trades in demand. Both courses will be taught by experts in the industry with years of experience working in a chemical plant or industrial construction environment.

John Pacillo, Mexichem Fluor Inc. indicated, "The East Iberville Workforce Development Initiative was developed to create awareness and promote career opportunities in the industry for our community residents. It has been a long standing goal of the plant managers to hire from the community. By taking advantage of this initiative, East Iberville residents will be able to develop some of the skill sets required for employment in our plants."

The two courses are open to high school juniors and seniors and community residents of East Iberville and are offered at no cost. All tools, materials, books, etc. will be provided. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. and will be held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at East Iberville High School, 3285 Hwy. 75, St. Gabriel.

The training will last approximately six weeks. Four PTEC scholarships, to assist with tuition and expenses to complete the two year AAS degree in process technology, will be awarded at the end of the program – two scholarships will be awarded to high school students and two to community residents.

Although sponsored by the chemical industry in East Iberville Parish, The East Iberville Workforce Development Initiative represents a successful partnership with the chemical industry, Turner Industries, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC), Iberville Parish Schools, Math and Science Academy East, East Iberville High School, The Office of the Mayor of St. Gabriel, Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA), Iberville Parish Adult Education and the Greater Baton Rouge Literacy Coalition.

The Tim Johnson Consulting Group is facilitating the effort.

Dr. Michael Eskeridge, East Iberville High School Principal expressed sincere gratitude to industry and all partners involved.

"It is critical we begin building a pipeline of a qualified, skilled workforce by increasing the number of high school students pursuing careers in process technology and the skilled trades," he said. "Our students need to know about the career options located right here in their own parish."

To enroll in training, participants must pre-register by calling 225.757.5527. Registration, testing and intake will be held on Jan. 15 , beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. at the East Iberville High School Library.

Participants must complete the registration process on Jan. 15 in order to enroll in a course. For additional information about the training, interested individuals should call The Tim Johnson Consulting Group at 225.757.5527 or email tia.edwards@thetjcgroup.com.