GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - A new business in Ascension Parish aims to have high school students ready work as welders once they graduate. It opened its doors in the heart of the petro-chemical corridor along Highway 30.
Part-owner of Precision Weld Testing and Training, Barry Carpenter, says he and his partners got the idea for the business after recognizing a demand for welders dating back some 40 years.
"Right now, if we had 20 welders to go to work, I could put them to work because it is a needed industry, not only in Louisiana, but the surrounding states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas," said Carpenter.
The business includes a full classroom and hands-on lab, where students and welders can learn and refresh their skills. Carpenter says Precision has also partnered with Ascension Christian High School to train its seniors in the field and have them certified and ready to work in area plants once they graduate. President and CEO of Ascension Chamber of Commerce Sherrie Despino says the timing could not have been more perfect.
"Our industrial corridor has grown so big and we need welders and so for this to be here is just opening up so many opportunities for students in our parish and for people who want to go back and want to look for another trade," said Despino.
The plants have long been the backbone of that economy. Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa says Precision's business model fits right into the parish's plan: supporting businesses that encourage locals to stay put.
"This is a piece of the puzzle we were missing in Ascension Parish. I believe to train these kids to be welders, they can make money here in Ascension and build a future with their families," said Matassa.
Click here to learn more about Precision Weld Testing and Training.