Lake Charles, La -- Thirty students from SOWELA Technical Community College and Baton Rouge Community College are graduating from Praxair's (NYSE: PX) Skills Pipeline program in Louisiana. In commemoration of the second cohort, the company will host a graduation ceremony and career fair for students completing the program. The graduation and career fair will take place at SOWELA on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, beginning at 12:30 pm in the college's Regional Training Center. The students will be recognized for completing the program, which is comprised of four welding processes and four cutting processes. Overall, more than 100 students have successfully completed the program, with many of them being offered employment throughout Louisiana. "Congratulations to this cohort of graduates from the Praxair Skills Pipeline program," said Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. "The investment of financial resources and human capital by our partners at Praxair comes at a critical time for Louisiana as we continue the drive to increase the skilled workforce of tomorrow. Welding and construction skill crafts are some of the fastest growing and highest paying professions in the state. We look forward to producing more skilled welders and growing this program so that more Louisiana citizens can earn the skills needed to go to work." The Praxair Skills Pipeline program is a community engagement initiative demonstrating Praxair's commitment to advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The program also supports the education and hands-on training of student welders in Louisiana, a skillset that is vital to the growth of the metal fabrication industry and many of Praxair's customers. The career fair is only open to welding students that have completed the Praxair Skills Pipeline program. "It is a privilege to have had the opportunity to help these students as they worked diligently to increase their skills and quality of life. Our collaboration with Louisiana's community and technical colleges continues to be meaningful for us, for our fellow members of industry who join us for the celebration, and for the local communities," said Tamara Brown, Praxair director of sustainable development and community engagement. "We look forward to the impact these men and women will bring to their families, to our industry, and to Louisiana." "The Praxair Skills Pipeline program is another example of the great partnerships that exist between SOWELA and business and industry. Partnerships such as this are critical to help ensure that our students receive the training they need to prepare them for the great jobs in the welding industry that are so abundant in our area. Praxair has again invested in SOWELA, our students, and the economy of Southwest Louisiana," stated Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Chancellor of SOWELA. "Congratulations to our students who are graduating from the Praxair Skills Pipeline program," said Larissa Littleton-Steib, chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College. "It has been an honor to partner with Praxair in building a workforce development framework that has resulted in providing the right skills and training for the high-wage, high-demand welding positions needed to build Baton Rouge's workforce and contribute to the overall economic momentum of the Capital Region." To date, the Skills Pipeline program, funded by Praxair's Global Giving Program, has provided more than $500,000 to train students in an accelerated one-year curriculum through collaborations with Louisiana's community and technical colleges. The program funding also provides community education, instructorships, career development, and continuing education opportunities. The Praxair Skills Pipeline program is another example of the great collaboration that exists between the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, its colleges, and business and industry. Programs such as this are critical to help ensure that students receive the training they need to prepare them for the great jobs in the welding industry that are so abundant in the area. Praxair has again invested in Louisiana colleges, students, and the economy of SW Louisiana. For information on Praxair's Skills Pipeline program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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