Pipeline Academy to Kick Off in LA

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2019

The SOWELA Technical Community College (Lake Charles, Louisiana) has recently received a $1 million donation from TC Energy (Calgary, Canada) for the development of a pipeline academy.

Designed to be a state-of-the-art TC Energy Pipeline Academy, SOWELA officials claim the facility will be the first of its kind in Louisiana and only the third in the nation.

About the Academy

Serving as a regional learning center for individuals pursuing a career in the oil and gas field, the academy plans to include a pipeline training area next to SOWELA’s new Process Technology Center.

According to KATC News, the outdoor pipeline loop will be used to train and familiarize students through real-life environments, testing, compliance, security, monitoring and repairs. The adjoining center will also function as a working plant, providing students will additional hands-on experience.

“They actually will build an actual pipeline training loop. This is an actual real pipeline, it carries no material, but it will be built on campus so individuals can come and train on actual pipeline,” said SOWELA Chancellor Neil Aspinwall.

"Most of the petrochemical industries, the huge pipelines that enter and exit those facilities—someone has to maintain them, someone has to design them, someone has to fix them if something's wrong. So, there's wonderful jobs there, good paying jobs. So, this program will help train the workforce for this industry.”

The center will reportedly run around the clock full-time so that students can complete required shift work within the Process Technology Center as part of their curriculum.

In addition to the funding of the academy, TC Energy also awarded four SOWELA students $10,000 scholarships. The students include: Kaylee Marie Clark, Chemical Laboratory Technology; Mason Scott Romero, Process Technology; Jermaine Q. Pattum, Welding; and Garret Paul Broussard, Industrial Electrical Technology.

What Now

In addition to the donation and scholarships received, SOWELA also received a second donation from Houston-based Cheniere Energy in the amount of $500,000 for the launch of a partnership in the form of an apprenticeship program.

“TC Energy’s investment is yet another example of how industry and education can partner to provide a trained and skilled workforce for Louisiana and the nation,” said Aspinwall. “I am very excited and greatly appreciative that TC Energy has chosen SOWELA as their partner to establish the Pipeline Training Academy.”

Alex Stroman, TC Energy’s manager of government relations and public affairs adds that they also look forward to advancing the opportunities to young people and the economy.

Although the new academy isn’t expected to open until fall 2020, Apsinwall suggests that those interested should begin checking into the program, as he expects a waiting list once the academy is up and running.

About TC Energy

Currently managing more than 57,500 miles of natural gas pipeline and 3,000 miles of oil pipeline in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, TC Energy considers itself an industry leader in operating and constructing energy-related infrastructure.

TC Energy employs approximately 7,000 people, 150 of which are located in Louisiana.

“Through the hands-on learning that the TC Energy Pipeline Training Academy will provide, students will gain experience with advanced technology, tools and techniques used in the industry that will lead to improved performance while safely meeting our countries growing energy needs,” concluded John McWilliams, Vice President, U.S. Gas Operations, TC Energy.


Tagged categories: Education; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Latin America; Maintenance programs; NA; North America; Pipeline; Pipelines; Program/Project Management; Qualification programs; SA; South America; Worker training

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.