News Release

Southeastern offering career enrichment programs as part of U.S. Department of Labor Grant

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University is now offering free career enrichment programs to assist area businesses by training personnel in customer service, sales, safety and loss prevention.
     The programs are also available at no charge for the unemployed, underemployed, or other individuals seeking the training.
     The programs are being offered through a $190,000 U.S. Department of Labor Grant by the university’s Division of Extended Studies and the Southeast Louisiana Business Center. They are designed to meet a need for training in the business and community realm, according to Charlotte Collins, project manager in Extended Studies. There is no charge for an employer or an individual to participate.
     “We do require that companies appoint a mentor who will follow up with the employees to ensure they complete all training and to monitor their progression for a short period,” Collins explained. 
     “In a number of cases, companies struggle to find the time, money and resources required to adequately and professionally train their employes in these areas,” said Joan Gunter, assistant vice-president for extended studies. “This program was developed to address some of the short-term training needs for incumbent workers and new hires, as well as unemployed, potential workers.” 
     Gunter said the program is available to qualified businesses in Southeastern’s region, including the parishes of Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangiphoa and Washington. Individuals seeking to participate should contact the One Stop Career Resource Center in Hammond, which has agreed to mentor unemployed job-seekers.
     Last month the university piloted its initial class in safety and loss prevention with Shaw Sunland, a pipe fabricating plant in Walker and a subsidiary of the Shaw Group of Baton Rouge. The business requested the program for a group of supervisors and team leaders; 38 participants from Shaw Sunland completed the 15-hour program. 
     Southeastern is also partnering with Northshore Technical College for customer service and sales training as part of this grant. Southeastern adjunct instructor Steve Pereira of Professional Safety Associates in Denham Springs will conduct the safety training, which has been offered in the past at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center.  
     “Most companies promote their best and brightest into supervision but unwittingly set them up to fail because they did not provide them with the necessary training,” Pereira said. “In their new positions, they need additional skills in the areas of effective communication, leadership, hazard recognition, evaluation and control and problems in performance. The safety training is conducted in a relaxed informal setting with numerous breakout and discussion sessions so participants can learn from each other.  Individuals in the pilot program actively participated and had fun doing so.”
     For information on the Career Enrichment Program, contact Collins at 1-800-256-2771 or through email at Individuals can contact

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