Charles Reed, a first semester welding student from St. Francisville, says he’s on track to be a combination welder but wouldn’t be if it had not been for the instructors at Baton Rouge Community College in Jackson and Campus Administrator Johnny Arceneaux.
“I was in between jobs and Mr. Frank (Reynolds), my instructor, and Mr. Johnny helped me get into this class. They are really here for us, the students, and that means a lot,” said Reed. “I appreciate their help.”
Arceneaux describes Reed as having an exceptional work ethic.
“He stays after class and comes in when he doesn’t have class to get extra welding time,” said Arceneaux. “The students here are serious about learning and serious about earning once they’ve finished class. We’re here to help them make that happen.”
“Businesses are hungry for trained and skilled workers,” Arceneaux said.
A shortage of skilled machinists, welders, fitters and diesel mechanics spurred partnerships between BRCC and businesses throughout the region in an effort to ignite workforce development.
Arceneaux said now that recent building renovations have been completed, campus administrators and students are back in the building and getting ready for the next phase of renovations and classes.
A night welding class begins Sept. 30 and continues through March 10. The class will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and students will learn the fundamental skills needed to show mastery in American Welding Society applications.
“Students will have the opportunity to begin the class where they are at, their skill level, and progress as far as they can,” said Arceneaux. “They’ll receive training specific to what they need to learn to improve job opportunities and earning potential.”
Additionally, a night pipefitting training class begins Oct. 28 and ends April 13.
The National Center for Construction Education and Research Pipefitting Level 1 class will train students in the NCCER Core Curriculum, which includes basic safety, construction math, hand and power tools, construction drawings, rigging and lifting, communication skills, employability skills, and materials handling, as well as orientation to the trade, pipefitting hand and power tools, oxyfuel cutting, ladders and scaffolds, and motorized equipment.
The Pipefitting Level 1 is a prerequisite for Pipefitting Level 2.