Performance Contractors partners with Southeastern
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
by: Tonya Lowentritt
PERFORMANCE CONTRACTORS PARTNERS WITH SOUTHEASTERN - Performance Contractors, an industrial construction, management and fabrication firm headquartered in Baton Rouge, is partnering with Southeastern Louisiana University to create a new academic concentration in Welding Inspection and Supervision. Art Favre, co-founder and CEO of Performance Contractors, has made a $1 million donation to Southeastern in support of the partnership. Pictured front row, from left, are Executive Vice President Kevin Courville, President Art Favre, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Vice President for University Advancement Wendy Lauderdale, and Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Lynn Horgan. Back row, from left, are Computer Science and Industrial Technology Department Head Lu Yuan, Vice President William “Willie” Lefever, Professor of Industrial Techology and Undergraduate Coordinator Roy Bonnette, Instructor of Industrial Technology Anthony Blakeney, College of Science and Technology Dean Dan McCarthy, and Corporate Quality Control Director Jerome Mabile.
HAMMOND – Performance Contractors, an industrial construction, management and fabrication
firm headquartered in Baton Rouge, is partnering with Southeastern Louisiana University
to create a new academic concentration in Welding Inspection and Supervision. Since
Louisiana’s industry-heavy economy is in constant need of industrial professionals,
this partnership will enable Southeastern’s Industrial Technology program to develop
the concentration and increase enrollment, thereby filling a niche to graduate students
in these fields.
Art Favre, co-founder and CEO of Performance Contractors, has made a $1 million donation to Southeastern in support of the partnership. Favre said he hopes this partnership with Southeastern will encourage other industry partnerships, making the university a significant hub for producing much needed industrial specialists to meet Louisiana’s workforce needs.
“Southeastern’s current and developing programs will help boost the workforce expertise in these important areas,” Favre said. “We need well-prepared and trained industrial team members at the professional level, and Southeastern is committed to providing opportunity to students to become job-ready in those areas.”
The development of the Welding Inspection and Supervision program is seen as a significant collaboration between industry and higher education to ensure future workforce needs are met and economic development in the industrial sector continues to grow.
“An important part of Southeastern’s mission is to lead the economic development of this region. We strive to work directly with industry partners on an ongoing basis to determine their needs in the future and develop curricula to meet those needs. Our board of advisors for industrial and engineering technology has a significant hand in creating areas of academic focus,” said John L. Crain, Southeastern Louisiana University president. “Partnership with industry and economic development entities is key to being responsive to the needs of the marketplace as well as to offer students the most in-demand fields of study.”
Anthony Blakeney, instructor of industrial technology specializing in materials and processes, said that many of the state’s technical and community colleges are graduating certified welders, but there is a significant need for graduates in that field at a more advanced level.
“Our Industrial Technology degree program is accredited by ATMAE, the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, and once this concentration is in place, we will be the first university in the country to have it as part of an ATMAE accredited program,” he said.
“Our intent is to use this opportunity to renovate our classroom and laboratory space, upgrade equipment, and increase student capacity,” said Dan McCarthy, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “With the new academic concentration, Southeastern expects demand for this program to increase enrollment. This is really a win-win for all parties. The students benefit with greater opportunities, the university benefits with expanded enrollment, and industry benefits with more highly qualified graduates,” he added.
David Helveston, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors - Pelican Chapter, which focuses efforts on workforce development in the region, said, “This investment will lead to great careers for Southeastern’s student and future industrial growth. A highly trained professional workforce is essential for economic development opportunities in the area.”
“Due to the heavy industrial presence in the Southeastern United States, we have unique workforce needs,” Favre said. “I hope that this partnership will produce supervisory and managerial industrial professionals with greater skill sets which should help the economic expansion continue.”