Lake Charles – Badly damaged by one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the Gulf Coast, SOWELA Technical Community College is getting crucial financial assistance from Cheniere Energy with a donation of $100,000 through the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Foundation.
“Cheniere began its partnership with SOWELA with a commitment to build a strong workforce and economy for Southwest Louisiana,” said Jane Uebe, Cheniere’s Director of Training. “This year’s unprecedented challenges have impacted Southwest Louisiana and we recognize that without these funds, students would be at risk of having to suspend their educational pursuits. We’re proud to contribute to the resilience of SOWELA, its students and all of Southwest Louisiana throughout this difficult time.”
Cheniere Energy allocated $50,000 of the donation to SOWELA’s Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief Fund which will provide immediate and long-term recovery assistance in the aftermath of the devastating storm which badly damaged many of the 13 school buildings on the College’s sprawling main campus next to Chennault Airport in Northeast Lake Charles. Minor damage is being repaired now at SOWELA’s two satellite campuses in Jennings and Oakdale.
The remaining $50,000 will help SOWELA’s Process Technology program repair a damaged shelter housing one of the College’s Hands-on Operations Training (HOT) units that provides realistic, practical training for student operators.
“One of the strengths of SOWELA is the collaborative relationships we established with our business and industry partners. Cheniere is a great example of how industry works together with education to produce a trained and skilled workforce that helps drive the economy of SW Louisiana. Cheniere has provided funding not only to help our students and institution in a time of crisis but they continuously work with SOWELA to create unique program opportunities such as the Cheniere/SOWELA Apprenticeship Program that gives our students on-site training opportunities with the potential to become full-time permanent employees. Cheniere has been and continues to be a great partner for SOWELA and we are very appreciative of their generosity and support,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall.
More than $171,000 have thus far been donated to SOWELA which is aiding the college’s 4,000 students, faculty and staff, many of whom lost everything when Hurricanes Laura and Delta ripped through Southwest Louisiana earlier this fall. Donations have also poured in from the faculty, staff and students at the state’s other 11 community colleges in the LCTCS System.
Donations can be made to the special Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief Fund by visiting www.sowela.edu/give/online-giving/hurricane-laura/.