Chester “Lee” Mallett is a well-established businessman in the Southwest Louisiana, Lake Charles region. He has started numerous companies and currently owns one of only four truss manufacturing plants in the state. He is a true conservative who has been appointed, by Governor Jindal, to prominent committee positions. From 2006 to 2009, Lee served on the board of Louisiana’s Citizen Insurance Company. In 2010, Governor Jindal appointed him to the State License Board of Contractors, where he is still serving to this day.
Not only is Lee a very well respected businessman, he is also an avid social reformer. One of his greatest achievements is the creation and operation of The Academy of Training Skills or ATS. The ATS is the first pilot program of its kind. Opened in 2008, the ATS houses up to 200 Cadets and is an alternative for individuals who are endangered of going to prison. People, who have non-violent or non-sexual offenses, are given an opportunity to not only surpass prison, but train in a multitude of certified training programs. The ATS is completely self-sufficient and does not receive any public funding. All monies are appropriated through a tuition paid by the cadet or third party. One of the greatest qualities of the ATS is that it provides the necessary path for individuals who are looking for something to help lead them away from prison and become skilled citizens. Since the ATS is an alternative to prison, these people are removed from the tax-payer-based system and placed into the private sector, which helps alleviate the stress on an already stretched correctional system. Originally located in Southwest Louisiana, there are plans to expand the Academy to include Lafayette, Alexandria, Monroe, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans areas.
Lee is not only helping to change individuals’ lives in Louisiana, he is also helping change the state. By creating businesses that support good-paying jobs and give back to the community, and by helping people get out of the revolving door, which is the correctional system, Lee is a primary example of what an outstanding citizen is capable of achieving.