PHOTO GALLERY — Industrial Training Facility opening celebrated as key for education and employment

Published 12:50 am Friday, June 30, 2023

A key milestone in the ongoing partnership between Lamar State College Port Arthur and Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation was celebrated Thursday with the open house of the college’s Industry Training Facility.

The building, located at 1048 Lakeshore Drive, is a mix of the old — a former armory equipped to allow students to train in real life scenarios and a newly built adjacent facility with classrooms that can be divided in up to three sections and seat 110 students total.

“This is a partnership that is committed to admitting a minimum of 100 Port Arthur residents to this program over the next five years,” PAEDC Executive Director Terry Stokes told the crowd. “Our major employers are in desperate need of employees with the very skills this program will provide them. And whether it be pipefitters, electrical specialists, welders, the need amongst our stakeholders is great.”

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The jobs students will be eligible for upon graduation are good paying ones, he said.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie said the training facility offers exciting opportunities for city residents and those throughout the region.

“You want a citizenry that is attractive for employment, and you’ve got to begin at square one. Square one is getting the proper training,” Bartie said, adding students will take theoretical situations and apply them to practical applications.

“This is the exciting part for me,” he said. “And I would hope that Port Arthurans would take advantage of the educational opportunities that they offer here at our school, which is Lamar State College Port Arthur.”

The renovation of the armory into the new facility cost more than $6 million. The project is a partnership between LSCPA and the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation with federal funding from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development administration.