The $665,000 Investment in Allen Parish Supports Industrial Electrical and Industrial Instrumentation Technology Programs
(Lake Charles, Louisiana – September 12, 2023)
SOWELA Technical Community College’s Oakdale site recently announced the addition of two new, state-of-the-art labs that help support hands-on training at the College. The Industrial Electrical Lab includes an electrical wiring learning system and trainers, and the Industrial Instrumentation Lab offers pressure and thermal process control trainers. The $665,000 lab expansion, including remodeling, equipment, technology and furniture was funded through an anonymous donation and Rapid Response grant funds.
“The addition of these new labs at the SOWELA Oakdale Instructional Site provides much needed space, equipment, and technology for the growing field of instrumentation and electrical technology,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “The job opportunities in the SW Louisiana region are very good and employers are seeking individuals with skills in these specialized fields. SOWELA’s focus is workforce development so investing in instructional areas that provide students job opportunities in high skill, high demand, and high wage jobs is a natural part of what we do.”
The designated lab space for each program is essential to educational quality as students typically enroll in both the Industrial Electrical and Industrial Instrumentation programs to increase employability and round out their skillset. Industrial Electrical Technology is new this semester at SOWELA Oakdale with 41 students currently enrolled. Industrial Electrical Technology was added at the site to help meet local job market demand and in response to student feedback.
In Louisiana, job openings for electrical positions are projected to grow by 15% by 2030 with almost 80,000 openings annually according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The typical salary for an industrial electrician is $32/hour with opportunities for overtime and an increase in salary with experience according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Industrial Electrical Technology prepares individuals to install, troubleshoot and repair wiring, electrical equipment and other electrical devices used in the industrial environment, such as motors, transformers, control systems, industrial instruments and lighting systems. Industrial Instrumentation prepares students to install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair various types of measuring and control instruments and peripherals.
Additional programs available at SOWELA Oakdale include Practical Nursing and Welding with online programs available in Business Administration and Culinary Arts. The Oakdale location also offers dual enrollment courses and free Adult Education classes for individuals working toward their HiSet diploma, formerly known as a GED.
About SOWELA Technical Community College
SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 85 years.