A major investor and employer in Southwest Louisiana, Sasol is determined to help members of neighbouring communities which have traditionally experienced unemployment rates of around 20%. Working with like-minded private, government and non-governmental entities, each year Sasol devotes considerable resources towards developing local intellectual capital, especially technical and scientific skills.
These are just some of the ways Sasol and our partners are working to help the people of Southwest Louisiana, share in the opportunities presented by announced capital investment of more than $100 billion in the five-parish area:
- With the Southwest Louisiana Chamber-Economic Development Alliance, Calcasieu Parish Library System and Calcasieu Business and Career Solutions Center, Sasol sponsored the Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide, a practical printed and online resource which helps individuals to choose careers and prepare for job interviews. Since its inception, more than 15000 guides have been downloaded.
- Sasol established the Southwest Louisiana Workforce Scholarship Fund providing financial support to cover tuition, training, mentoring and technical support to more than 100 local adults. The programme targets the unemployed and undereducated in a five-parish area, with preference given to Westlake and Mossville residents—Sasol’s nearest neighbours. Since its inception, 118 scholarships have been awarded, and 74% of recipients have found employment.
- Collaborating with partners which include Junior Achievement and Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sasol supports four Partner in Education schools, three of them in Southwest Louisiana and one in Houston, Texas. In 2018 Sasol employees will have spent almost 1000 hours mentoring and imparting life skills to students, the majority of which belong to low-income families.
- Sasol enhances school-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum, as well as educator professional development programme.
- Sasol provided the Southwest Louisiana Construction Users Council with $635,000 in pre-funding to pre-train the local construction craft workforce, in anticipation of expected high growth in the region.
- Sasol sponsored one of the newest exhibits at the Lake Charles Children’s Museum, fittingly named Chem Corner. The exhibit offers visitors a glimpse into daily life at an industrial chemical facility and aims to help children learn about local industry while stimulating their interest in STEM subjects. Since its opening in July 2017 the museum reported an increase of nearly 10,000 visitors.
- Sasol is proud of our engagement with our neighbours in Mossville, Louisiana, a community west of our Lake Charles Chemical Complex. From the early stages of our ethane cracker and derivatives project, we’ve continually reached out to Mossville residents to keep them informed of our plans and solicit their input on what we can do to make a positive difference in their community. The result is an extensive, ongoing partnership between Sasol and Mossville to address their desires, give them the choices they asked for, and provide sustainable, long-term support to increase economic opportunities.