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RPCC Newsroom
March 30, 2017

Jobs of the Future: RPCC opens news Technical Training Center

The BASF Team at Technical Training Center opening
The BASF Team at Technical Training Center opening
Victor Sanchez

Gonzales - Industry partners, the Chancellor, staff, faculty, and donors of River Parishes Community College gathered today to “reveal” the college’s new Technical Training Center: the location for training and developing the skilled workforce of tomorrow. The 40,000 square foot building will house students and programs for credit and for industry-based certifications in instrumentation, electrical, welding, process technology, scaffold building, drafting and design, non-destructive testing, maintenance, and crane operation.


Visitors arriving on campus for the opening drove under a large, welcoming banner supported by cranes from the college’s crane operation program. Upon entering the Technical Training Center’s BASF PTEC, Electrical, and Instrumentation wing, visitors discovered another banner, erected by RPCC’s scaffolding students and supported by scaffolding of their design, which a forklift operator then tugged apart to reveal a doorway to the rest of the Center.


The construction of the building was funded primarily from legislative Act 360, a law that provided funds to community colleges across the state to develop specific training centers to meet regional demands for a skilled workforce. That act required individual colleges to obtain private matching funds equaling 12-percent of the building cost. More than thirty individuals and corporations contributed $1.1 million to the $9.2 million construction costs of the Center. The leading contributor was BASF, who donated $100,000 and surplus equipment to establish the Process Technology training areas.


Next, the college plans to erect a Process Equipment Trainer, which was formerly a fully-functioning distillation tower at BASF. The company donated the surplus equipment and hundreds of hours of engineering and design expertise to help RPCC reconstruct the PET unit on campus, which will provide students with hands-on experience in operations, repair, maintenance, upgrades, and turn-arounds in process technology and other plant operation skills.


“This is great moment in time,” Chancellor Dale Doty said. He added, “The future of RPCC and all of Louisiana’s community colleges will be based on partnerships like this with the industries we are serving. Our growth will be in teaching, training, and certifying skilled individuals, ready to enter important, complex, technical positions in our community.”


River Parishes Community College focuses on building the workforce of today and tomorrow by providing specific skills training and transferrable courses and curricula leading to certification and associate degrees. RPCC works closely with its communi­ties to provide programs for personal, professional, and academic growth.  


River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, La., is an open-admission, two-year, postsecondary public institution dedicated to developing and assisting students in achieving personal, professional and academic success. A component of the Louisiana Community and Technical College system and its board of supervisors, RPCC serves the Louisiana river parishes by providing transferable courses and curricula through certificates and associate's degrees. Please visit www.rpcc.edu or call (225) 675-8270 for more information.