Local Agencies Receive Louisiana Economic Development Grant

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has awarded grant money to the South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC), the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority (TEDA), and Fletcher Technical Community College (Fletcher) through Tier 2 funding. Each of Louisiana’s eight economic development regions received funding to address workforce concerns and needs. The Bayou Region, working through SLEC, was able to secure three matching grants.

SLEC will launch a Registered Apprenticeship Program with the goal of providing short and long term technical training to workers in the Bayou Region. The apprenticeship program will benefit Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, and Terrebonne parishes. Strengthening the current industry and boosting its capacity is key to Louisiana’s economy. Training programs will be offered in the fields of Machine Tooling, Integrated Production Technologies, and Welding.

“We’ve seen success with past Apprenticeship Programs and it is now our goal to capitalize on those past experiences. Developing this new program will allow us to address current workforce needs within the Bayou Region and increase our workforce capacity as industry returns,” said Vic Lafont, President and CEO of SLEC.

TEDA seeks to increase qualified local contractors to gain state contracts in the coastal-restoration sector. The Louisiana Contractor’s Accreditation Institute (LCAI) began in February with a program goal to provide small construction firms with guidance, resources, and information on minority-access to stimulate growth in Terrebonne Parish.

“Whether the proprietor of an existing handyman or home improvement company, or someone wishing to start a general contracting business, that state license is crucial to growth and job creation,” said Matt Rookard, CEO of TEDA. “When licensed, those companies have greater opportunity to compete not only in the residential and commercial construction market, but also the burgeoning coastal preservation and restoration projects.”

TEDA will host the institute at Fletcher and will broadcast statewide to other community colleges for a six-week period.

Fletcher has been chosen as grant recipient to continue their Work It! Louisiana program. Work It! Louisiana is an awareness campaign designed to educate students & parents on technical education, career paths and job opportunities in Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary and Assumption Parishes. It was designed by SCIA businesses to assist with developing a local workforce through the education system.

“The Fletcher Foundation is excited about this grant opportunity. Work It! Louisiana is a career awareness campaign established by SCIA in 2005. Since then, the program has grown through grants from non-profits and other foundations. With the match from LED, the Work It! Louisiana program can expand activity offerings to more students and increase career awareness throughout the Bayou Region.” Nicol Blanchard, Community Relations Coordinator.