Looks Bright: Welding, millwright classes open to region

Published 11:55 pm Friday, February 20, 2015

By Monique Roth

LUTCHER — Students of all ages are sure to benefit as four welding and two millwright classes will be offered in St. James Parish this spring through a unique partnership with St. James Parish Schools and River Parishes Community College.

The two educational establishments have partnered to offer night classes at the district’s Career and Technology Center, located at 1410 Buddy Whitney St. in Lutcher.

After initial success in the fall 2014 inaugural classes, Career and Technology Center Director Tracy Zeringue said it made sense to offer the classes again.

Unlike other classes offered at the center that are exclusively for high school students and credit, the RPCC millwright and welding classes are open to all ages.

Zeringue said the partnership between St. James Parish Schools and RPCC offers the technical classes to adults and qualifying high school students for college credit.

“The classes bring the opportunity for residents to get different skill sets,” Zeringue said, adding the classes’ tuition costs, as well as any financial aid opportunities, are all handled through RPCC.

An RPCC instructor teaches the course using St. James Parish Schools’ site and equipment, Zeringue said, in the program that is an educational component of the parish’s workforce initiative.

RPCC Career Resource Coordinator Angie Bell said the college sought out a partnership with St. James Parish after seeing a high volume of students travel from the parish to the college’s Sorrento campus to take night classes.

“We wanted to make it convenient for them,” Bell said, adding the campus was running low on space to offer the amount of night classes needed.

Bell said it is not too late to sign up for classes beginning Monday, emphasizing residents from any parish can take advantage of the unique opportunity.

Welding classes start Monday and end April 30, with the training courses running 12 hours a week.

RPCC officials advertise the average salary of a welder to be $36,300 annually.

A first level millwright class will be held from Monday though April 30, and a second level millwright class will be offered from April 13 to July 10. The training courses will each run 12 hours a week.

RPCC officials advertise the average salary of a millwright — someone who performs installation and repair work on large industrial machines, especially pumps and equipment used in manufacturing facilities — to be $45,840 annually.

For more information on the classes or programs, visit rpcc.edu or call 225-675-5397.