A $22 million, 65,000-square-foot, training Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology at the Bossier Parish Community College was dedicated as part of a partnership between the State of Louisiana and Benteler Steel/Tube along with regional and local partners.
The project was inspired two years ago when Benteler announced it would create a $975 million seamless steel-tube manufacturing project at The Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The BPCC Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology initially will train workers for Benteler’s project and then will support training efforts for other manufacturers in the Northwest Region of Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal’s Office said.
The Benteler project, which includes a seamless steel tube facility in its first phase and a steel mill with an electric arc furnace in its second phase, will create 675 new direct. A Louisiana State University economic impact analysis estimates an additional 1,540 new indirect jobs will be created, for a total of more than 2,200 new permanent jobs. In addition, the Benteler project is creating an estimated 1,000 construction jobs.
At BPCC, Benteler can accommodate more than 220 employees at one time in the technical training space. The facility also features 10 classrooms for lectures and presentations. In addition to providing a training hub for Benteler and other regional manufacturers, the facility will serve as key instructional and training space for the college’s students.
Governor Bobby Jindal said, “This cutting-edge new center represents just one example of the many projects we are attracting here in Louisiana that continue to move our economy forward. Benteler will serve the oil and gas industry and continue growing our economy for decades to come with this new 1.35 million-square-foot manufacturing complex. The most important aspect of this center will be the highly skilled Louisiana men and women who are going to be trained here at Bossier Parish Community College for quality jobs.
“The state committed $21 million to make this center a reality because we know how important it is to ensure we have a skilled workforce that is ready to fill the thousands of jobs being created by Louisiana’s rapidly expanding employers. Not only will we be supporting the establishment of Benteler in the Shreveport-Bossier area, we will be helping other manufacturers throughout the Northwest Region train more workers. This facility shows that Louisiana is open for business and ready to help more people get the skills they need to have great careers right here at home.”
For BPCC, the new training facility will serve students in the college’s Division of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics while supporting certification programs targeting manufacturing.
“It’s a new day in manufacturing,” Chancellor Jim Henderson of Bossier Parish Community College said. “Today’s employers need employees with advanced skills. They need problem-solvers and trouble-shooters. They need employees who have savvy computer, programming and mechatronic skills. BPCC is excited to partner and work with LED FastStart and Benteler to meet our area industry needs.”
At the BPCC center, Benteler will train workers on a mock steel-tube rolling station that simulates production in the future facility in Shreveport. A computer lab, classrooms, and technical training space will be joined by forklifts, overhead cranes, programmable logic controllers and other equipment that will help prepare employees for manufacturing assignments.
“This first-of-its-kind facility is a key reason we chose to locate in Shreveport,” Benteler Steel/Tube Project Director Patrick Guillaume. “The training it provides will build a workforce that will sustain the Northwest Louisiana manufacturing industry for decades to come. Benteler has more than 100 years of experience developing sophisticated and highly specialized steel tube manufacturing processes. We look forward to sharing that knowledge and training an equally sophisticated workforce in Shreveport-Bossier City.”
The first phase of Benteler Steel/Tube’s project is 70 percent complete now, with the company scheduled to begin commercial production by the third quarter of 2015. Construction of the steel mill will follow later and be completed in 2020. The BPCC training center will support both phases of Benteler’s project.