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Shumaker: 2,000 jobs unfilled for La. welders; Reserve college can help

After what seems to have been an eternity, the bid meeting was held on Tuesday, Oct. 16 for the new Welding Education Center for the Reserve Campus.

Bids had to be in by Thursday (Nov. 1), and it has been estimated it will take up to 270 days to complete construction.

If there are no unforeseen obstacles, the building should be completed in time for the Fall semester, 2019.

The grant that is funding the project was a Federal EDA grant through South Central Planning located in Thibodaux.

The current job forecast shows that there are over 2,000 jobs unfilled for Louisiana welders. With new Industries, building new sites and expansions in the River Parishes Region there will be work for many years to come.

The new Welding building will be a welcome addition, as the current Welding Shop is outdated and in need of expansion. The new space will provide 30 Welding Booths, as well as new technology in the Welding field.

This will ensure students are training in all aspects of the Welding Program to be work ready upon completion.

The current students — in the way of better lighting, more room and overall nicer facilities — will welcome having a new facility. With more equipment and newer technology, the Welding Department is getting much more than a face-lift.

A recently renewed partnership with Louisiana Cat, headquartered in Reserve, is opening additional opportunities for River Parishes Community College Welding students for employment, possible internships and additional learning opportunities.

River Parishes Community College is a member of the American Welding Society and hosts an annual meeting each Fall to introduce current students to other members and Welding employment opportunities.

During the program, students will learn interview skills and resume building and upon successful completion of the program, students will be assisted with job placement recommendations.

Registration for Spring begins soon; apply at RPCC.edu. For questions regarding tuition assistance, call 985-536-4418 ext. 214.

Penelope Shumaker is Campus Director for the Reserve Campus of River Parishes Community College. Email pshumaker@rpcc.edu or call 985-536-4418, ext. 203.