Sasol has kicked in more than $900,000 to help create a pilot scholarship for job training and infrastructure for the advanced training needed to prepare for the massive job growth expected in southwest Louisiana.

Sasol has planned a $20 billion-plus project to turn natural gas into diesel and to crack natural gas into the smaller molecules needed to make ethylene, used in making plastics.

The first $300,000-plus donation will go to help the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana’s scholarship fund. The fund will provide financial support to cover tuition, training costs, support services and technical support from human resources professionals, according to the Foundation. The program, initially funded by Sasol, will first target unemployed or undereducated residents in the Westlake and Mossville communities seeking careers in support of industry in southwest Louisiana.

The program is the second step of the recently launched Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide and corresponding mentor program. The guide helps people choose a career, acquire training, certifications and basic life skills, prepare a resume and ultimately land a job. A key factor in the success of this model involves training of mentors to support job seekers.

“With billions of dollars in industrial development occurring in Southwest Louisiana, we have an incredible opportunity to develop and train people in our own area so they may take advantage of the many job opportunities,” Community Foundation President & CEO Sara Judson said. “The foundation is proud to partner with Sasol and local community organizations to answer this critical need.”

The second donation will help the Southwest Louisiana Construction Users Council pay for additional training infrastructure. The council funds construction craft training and certifications for the local industrial workforce. SLCUC was designed to meet the contract labor needs of a limited growth market and has not been positioned or staffed to meet the needs of a high growth market.

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