CLARKE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Jones County Junior College
The Mississippi Community College System's first oil and safety training program was established at Jones County Junior College's Clarke County Center with the signing of a partnership with Falck Safety Services, which is a global petroleum safety training corporation.
"This is a first step in a long journey that is going to bring nothing but success in Clarke County and this region," said JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith. "Falck's expertise is safety training and we know that is a major part of what is needed for our folks in Clarke County to be able to go on and work and be a part of this great industry. It is lifesaving training and Falck is second to none."
CEO of Falck Safety Services, Bryan Le Compte said his company is proud to be affiliated with JCJC and a part of the academic portion of the petroleum industry. As the industry changes, he explained, training is being more regulated and required.
"We have to prove that there are competencies rather than just taking a test and hoping our guys are safe off shore. We're bringing all of our expertise to help make that happen," said Le Compte.
The official agreement was signed in the presence of Clarke County and JCJC officials, community members and oil industry workers, like Allen Elmore, the senior health, safety and environment specialist for BHP Billiton's petroleum division in Texas. The Clarke County native said he was especially happy to know safety certification training through Falck Safety Services will be offered close to home at JCJC's Clarke County Center.
"I'm really excited because it's going to offer everything; all of our certification and re-certification training on our days off, close to home instead of going to Houston or somewhere. Oil field guys value their time off with their families and there are so many certifications we need. Offering training here will allow us to still enjoy our families and our time off," said Elmore.
Le Compte shared that 70 percent of the cost of training in this industry is travel related. He explained this partnership was an opportunity for the Texas and Louisiana based company to move east and to get a little business, but to also make sure all of the employees working off shore and in this industry come home safely.
"We can offer 130-safety courses and we can customize training if the market sustains the need. We are dedicated to making this work. We have the expertise and JCJC has the facility," said Le Compte.
At the Clarke County Center, Falck Safety Services will provide an instructor teaching Well Control, utilizing a simulator, the first week of every month. By 2016, the company's goal is to offer multiple classes and training every day.
"We have a thousand of our residents working in the oil industry. Our kids want to go off shore and the oil and gas industry is our main job base in Clarke County," said, Clarke County Supervisor, Troy Smith. "Bringing the tax base back to the County, that's the vision we all had as a board of supervisors. There's no doubt with the help of JCJC, everything is coming together. This training and the Center are the biggest things that I feel has happened in Clarke County in a long time. I'm proud of it and I really appreciate it."
Falck Safety Services has 400 employees nationwide and 4,000 worldwide in 48 countries. JCJC President, Dr. Smith shared taking this first step with the college's first business and training partner at the Clarke County Center is part of the Clarke County Supervisors' vision being fulfilled to help its citizens thrive at home.
For this safety training, as well as college courses, workforce development and adult basic information schedules and assistance, contact the Clarke County Center at 601-659-0622.