Since Cheniere Energy started construction on their Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility in Johnson Bayou until now, Southwest Louisiana (SW La.) has been in a building mode. In addition to building the multi-billion dollar industrial mega-projects, construction work on roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, retail shopping, restaurants, hotels, apartment complexes, and residences has created jobs for hundreds of SW La. residents. The goods and services produced and used during this economic boom created a growing economy and more jobs in every employment sector.
As the first wave of industrial expansion ends, SW La. is experiencing a slight lull when compared to the past two years during peak construction. The thousands of temporary construction jobs are phasing out, but hundreds of permanent jobs will soon be open for workers to operate, maintain, and support these new facilities.
Another reason for the expected upturn in available jobs is the oncoming retirement of baby boomers. These job openings will be in upper level positions for the next generation of workers to fill leaving their jobs open for workers with less experience, creating entry level positions for new workers.
Sasol is a great supporter of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) and other partnering agencies, helping these organizations develop the 2014 Workforce Resource Guide. This Guide provided a six step process to help unemployed, underemployed, and future workers access the information and services they need to qualify for entry level employment in the regional workforce.
Five years later, as we prepare for the second wave of industrial expansion, Sasol has again sponsored the updated Workforce Resource Guide. The 2019 edition of the Guide includes new information and services that are available to those seeking employment in the region. More partners are participating and additional assistance is available to jobseekers.
The Guide is designed to help job seekers or their mentors work through the steps of career development and identify the local resources that prepare future workers. The six steps are:
- Obtaining a high school equivalency,
- Developing basic life skills,
- Selecting a skill or profession,
- Getting an industry based certification or associate degree,
- Building your resume, and
- Applying for a job.
The current “lull” is temporary. Now is a great time to prepare for the future career opportunities that come with the second wave of industrial expansion. We, at the Alliance, encourage everyone in our region who is looking to advance their career to go to www. allianceswla.org. The Workforce Resource Guide is available electronically on the website. By investing in your career preparation now, you will have an opportunity for more in the future.