Launched in August 2012, the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Capital Area Technical College, Baton Rouge Community College, ExxonMobil, other industrial leaders, nonprofit organizations and community resource partners. The initiative provides selected participants with free training in one of three concentrations — pipefitting, welding or electrical. The technical college accepted and enrolled 59 of the 200 individuals that applied for the pilot course, which ran from Oct. 1, 2012, to Feb. 18, 2013, and produced 46 graduates, exceeding the first-year goal of 45.
In addition to technical training, the students learned skills that will help them get and keep a job once they graduate. HOPE Ministries and representatives from stakeholder companies, including an ExxonMobil retiree volunteer group, are helping program participants understand industry expectations, create resumes and prepare for job interviews. Plans are currently in place to replicate the pilot program.
“Through the leadership of Steve Blume and the entire ExxonMobil team, we have been able to bring together a diverse group of local industry and community leaders, with the goal of connecting local residents with career opportunities and filling high demand jobs,” said Andrea Lewis Miller, Chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College. “We must provide our students with the tools they need to succeed, and when our students succeed, our community succeeds. That has been the goal of the North Baton Rouge Training Initiative from its inception.”