PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

April 7, 2013

Downtown office to recruit, train workers for massive Cheniere project

Brooke Crum
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Port Arthur residents can take a trip downtown to look for jobs now as Bechtel Corp., the major contractor for the Cheniere Energy Inc. liquefied natural gas facility expansion project in Sabine Pass, has leased an office downtown to recruit and train workers.

Becon, a Bechtel subsidiary, will operate the recruitment and training office as Cheniere continues to expand its LNG facility. The company signed a lease with the Digital Workforce Academy Golden Triangle Empowerment Center for a 9,200 square foot office on Procter Street.

“I’ve been looking forward to it,” said Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince. “It gives people in Port Arthur a perfect opportunity to apply for jobs, and they can do that right in downtown.”

Through the GTEC and the Port Arthur Downtown Renewal Association, Bechtel made the deal to move to downtown so the global construction company could recruit a workforce near the Cheniere project site in Sabine Pass, said Laura Childress, a member of the renewal association.

Bechtel could hire anywhere from 300 to 500 people throughout the project, Childress said, and the downtown location was as close to the project site as the company could get without locating in Louisiana.

Plus, the addition of an office downtown will bring more traffic down Procter Street, thereby furthering downtown revitalization, Childress said. That was why the police department helped stripe the street last week.

“The City of Port Arthur has been working on revitalizing the downtown area for years,” said Floyd Marceaux of the renewal association in a statement. “Having Bechtel as an active community partner enables the city and other businesses with new opportunities.”

Bechtel is not the only entity making its way downtown. The Port Arthur City Council recently approved the purchase of the historic Port Arthur Savings and Loan Building at 501 Procter Street, which will eventually be home to the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation once the building has been renovated.

email: bcrum@panews.com

twitter: @broocrum