Jun 6, 2013 8:16 PM by Akeam Ashford
A new program offered through South Central Louisiana Technical College, in Morgan City, is helping veterans take the skills they learned in the military and transition into jobs back home. 'Battlefield to Oilfield'--students receive five weeks of intensive training in classroom instruction, as well as hands-on experience.
Chad Hays is part of the program's 3rd class. In his section, there are eight other veterans he'll train alongside. "The camaraderie is second to none. The campus and facilities are clean and the people are very nice and extremely helpful. If they don't know, they'll find the answer out for you," says Hays.
Everything students train on and use is what they will see, feel, and experience once they leave the classroom. The school started training students for offshore work in the 1960's, but companies approached SCLTC looking for workers who were safety conscious, and could stay away from their families for long periods of time. Naturally, veterans were a good option, but they didn't have the skills necessary to complete the job.
That's where Battlefield to Oilfield picked up; just three weeks ago. There are 154 students who start class each Monday, of those students, roughly twelve are veterans.
The cost for the five weeks of training is about $10,000, which veterans have the option to use their G.I. Bill benefits to pay for the course. After graduation, students meet with potential employers, seeking that first oilfield job.
Veteran and now program trainer, Edgar Johnson says, "This Battlefield to Oilfield program is good. As a veteran, it gives them the chance to say, I can help that company and I can continue to be a productive person."