BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission today announced that the Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers, Inc. has been awarded a $2 million job-training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The NLWC operates the Franklin Parish Consortium, which includes LWC’s Business and Career Solutions Centers in Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Madison, Richland and Tensas parishes.
“This is great news for Northeast Louisiana. Community colleges are vital in expanding our workforce development initiatives and this grant will provide more resources to train workers in the region so that they can pursue good, high-paying jobs,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said.
The NLWC competed against 274 community colleges and community-based institutions nationwide and is one of 68 awardees to share in the nearly $123 million President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants Initiative. Since 2005, more than 34,000 individuals have completed their education and training through this initiative.
“The Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers and Franklin Parish Consortium are to be commended for securing this grant, and we’re extremely excited about the partnerships we can develop,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “By aligning critical needs in high-growth industries with educational providers ready to train job seekers, we can create opportunities for an area of our state that has been struggling.”
The CBJT grant is designed to improve the ability of community colleges to provide their regions’ workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries. The NLWC will use its grant to implement the “Building a Louisiana Delta Workforce Initiative,” which will focus on training workers for jobs in high-growth, high-demand advanced manufacturing industries.
“The initiative is fully connected to broader talent development strategies that are critical to the growth of this region, will enhance these strategies, and will serve as a catalyst for bringing additional partners together,” NLWC Program Director Katie McCarty said.
Training will be conducted in partnership with the Louisiana Delta Community College, which will employ the Certified Manufacturing Specialist program designed by Georgia Quick Start, adding additional skills recommended by the Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Board and Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers, Inc. Critical to the success of the program will be its distance learning component, which will enable Delta to deliver training to a large, sparsely populated service area.
Dr. Luke Robins, Delta Chancellor, said, “This grant partnership is an excellent example of the type of rapid response training critical to the development of a highly trained workforce in northeast Louisiana. We are pleased to be partnering with our local Workforce Investment Boards to make this valuable training opportunity a reality.”
Bob Hammack, Delta’s Director of Workforce Development, added, “With this grant, we will be in a position to train individuals for just about any type of advanced manufacturing job.”
Partners in the initiative include the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) 81, 82 and 83, Louisiana Delta Community College, Ouachita Career Centers, Richland Parish School Board, Ouachita Parish School Board, Franklin Parish School Board, Gardner Denver Thomas, Inc., Custom Equipment Design, Inc., SAPA Extrusion, LLC, Steel Fabricators of Monroe, LLC, Sawyer Plastics, Winnsboro Rubber Recycling, Fresh Start and Leadership Conference of Women Collaborative Ministry.
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