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UA Signs Memorandum of Understanding to establish the 'Capturing Better Futures' Initiative

June 22, 2023
Project will create a direct-entry career and technical education pathway with training in the pipeline, plumbing, and steamfitting industries.
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LEESVILLE, LA — The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CapturePoint Solutions LLC and the Vernon Parish School Board in Leesville, Louisiana, to establish the “Capturing Better Futures” Initiative. This project will create a direct-entry career and technical education (CTE) pathway with training in the pipeline, plumbing, and steamfitting industries for high school juniors and seniors at all nine high schools in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, with classes beginning this August.

In the first year of the project, CPS and the United Association and affiliates have committed to providing over $310,000 in funding and services to update a dedicated classroom at Leesville High School, build out and fully equip a training workshop, and provide instructional staffing, student transportation and other support services. The MOU also includes commitments to sustain the program for an initial three-year pilot, and future expansion is anticipated to provide training for additional student cohorts.

In addition, the Louisiana Armed Forces Alliance is exploring possibilities for using the program workspace and instruction to provide a transitional pathway to civilian employment for military members completing tours of duty at nearby Fort Johnson (formerly named Fort Polk).

Proud History

“The United Association has a proud history of training the next generation of skilled craftsmen and women. We are thrilled to partner with CapturePoint Solutions and the Vernon Parish School Board to establish the Capturing Better Futures Initiative that will provide world-class training and hands-on experience to high school students,” said Mark McManus, General President of the United Association. “Our members are at the cutting edge of technology, and we are honored to play a leading role in building the next generation of American energy infrastructure like carbon capture. This partnership with CapturePoint and Vernon Parish will ensure that the clean energy future is not only built by the best trained and highly skilled men and women of organized labor—but that it is built by the men and women who call these communities home.”

Michael P. Mulvaney, Executive Vice President of the United Association, attended the MOU ceremony, where Larry D. George, Business Manager of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 247 and Trustee of the Alexandria (Louisiana) Pipe Traders J.A.T.F., and Daniel C. Hendrix, Business Manager of Pipeliners Local 798, both signed the document on behalf of the United Association and the key local affiliates supporting the partnership.

“For over 130 years, the hardworking men and women of the United Association have built and maintained the backbone of American infrastructure with the highest standards of excellence, safety, and productivity,” commented Mulvaney. “We are thrilled to partner with CapturePoint Solutions and the Vernon Parish School Board to introduce these students to our trades, and to provide the opportunity to continue our proud tradition and build the emerging carbon sequestration industry into another American economic triumph.”

Next Generation

“The outstanding geology of the region provided a unique opportunity for CapturePoint Solutions to develop the Central Louisiana Regional Carbon Storage Hub to safely secure millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually deep underground,” noted Tracy Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of CPS. “The CENLA Hub sites will help achieve critical national environmental goals and support the continued economic success of regional industries, and we want to make sure that our local community partners also have a chance to participate in the benefits as well. This exciting initiative to create job opportunities and a CTE pathway for local students will build a ‘next generation’ success story in central Louisiana.”

As CPS and its partners introduced the CENLA Hub to regional communities, local leaders identified that one of their key priorities is to create opportunities for students to develop careers without leaving the area. “Our graduates are some of the very best in Louisiana,” said Vernon Parish School Superintendent James Williams, “and we want them to have every chance to thrive right here in our community. That’s what the ‘Capturing Better Futures’ Initiative is all about and why we are so enthusiastic that this partnership will create new investments in the futures of our students who participate.”

The first CPS application for a CENLA Hub injection well was submitted last year, meeting the rigorous public health and safety standards required by the EPA for Class VI (CCUS) wells. Studies and agreements are underway to capture CO2 emissions from natural gas processing in Louisiana for transport to storage in the CENLA Hub. And in the near future, CPS expects to file an application with the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council making the CENLA Hub the first carbon sequestration project in the nation submitted for fast-tracking.

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