LAFAYETTE – South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) is expanding its Manufacturing Technology program to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in oil and gas, and emerging industries. The program, which was formerly known as Machine Tool Technology, will expand to two SLCC campuses in February.
In the course students learn to apply technical knowledge and skills to plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts in many high-demand fields. This 400-hour program runs for 20 weeks at SLCC's Morgan City campus and will now also run for 14 weeks at the Lafayette campus.
“Manufacturing Technology is an in-demand career path. Machinists are hired by firms across Acadiana, not only in oil and gas but in a variety of careers. Manufacturing is the fourth largest industry in the region and, by expanding our program, SLCC is keeping up with the demand and ensuring a well-trained and qualified workforce,” explains Steven Mathews, VP of Economic & Workforce Development with SLCC.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the fabricated metal manufacturing workforce can expect a 39% growth in the next decade, with thousands of additional jobs being added to the already 8,000 in Acadiana.
“With the establishment of the Manufacturing Technology program, SLCC continues to demonstrate its responsiveness to industry workforce training demands. As the manufacturing industry evolves, potential workers can quickly gain relevant technical skills through this accelerated, industry-led training program. The manufacturing industry, one of Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s target industry sectors, is among the region’s largest employment sectors. This program will help address the long-term needs of the industry which is projected to add 3,200 workers by 2030,” says Mandi Mitchell, President/CEO of LEDA.
The demand for skilled workers in the manufacturing industry is reflected in the numerous expansions and announcements in Acadiana, including Westfield Fluid Controls launching a manufacturing facility in Lafayette, ASH Industries announcing an 85-job expansion, and Schlumberger creating an $11.5 million North Gulf Coast Operations Hub in Lafayette.