New training plant expands River Parishes Community College Gonzales campus

Local News

GONZALES, La (BRPROUD) – River Parishes Community College broke ground for a new state-of-the-art training plant.

The new Process Equipment Trainer (PET) Plant is a full-sized working production unit where students can safely learn on a fully functioning plant. The community college is putting in $3.5 million dollars for construction and industry partners have invested $1.5 million in equipment, donations and services.

Groundbreaking of state-of-the-art Process Equipment Trainer (PET) Plant. Photo courtesy of River Parish Community College.

“This groundbreaking is the culmination of years of planning and collaboration,” LCTCS President Dr. Monty Sullivan said. “Once complete, the PET Plant will deliver real-time and relevant workforce training opportunities to the citizens of this great community, a community I call home.”

“This world-class plant will offer students and industry partners a real-world experience as a fully functional unit,” Interim Chancellor Dr. Jim Carlson said. “More importantly, RPCC students and industry partners will be able to train in work-based learning experiences that they will see in a plant environment.”

“BASF is proud to partner with RPCC and the other companies who have contributed to the PET Plant, which has truly been a community build,” Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Geismar site Jerry Lebold said. “With the many manufacturing career opportunities available in our region, hands-on training is vital to developing our current and future workforce, and the PET Plant will offer a safe, real-world experience of plant operations and maintenance.”

“ISC was able to leverage comprehensive engineering solutions and industry-leading construction expertise to ensure quality training opportunities and rewarding career paths are available to tomorrow’s workforce,” ISC’s Co-founder and CEO Jerry Rispone said. “We are honored to play a critical role in making this project a reality and continue to remain committed to providing the most technical engineering and construction solutions to manufacturers.”

The PET Plant construction project is set to be completed in late spring with a commission date in summer 2022. The construction of the plant is one project that will expand the Gonzales campus.

“I would like to thank our industry supporters, for helping make this investment in our college community,” Carlson said.

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