Southeastern and Northshore Technical Community College awarded $1.5 million dollar grant from the US Departent of Labor


Tuesday, October 3, 2023
by: Tonya Lowentritt

      HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University and Northshore Technical Community College have each received a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative. Southeastern’s grant is to address the growing shortage of nurses and nurse educators in Louisiana, including increasing the number of nurses from underrepresented populations, while NTCC’s grant is to establish new programs in advanced manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and industrial safety.
     “The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative is an essential element to strengthening local workforce ecosystems and economic vitality throughout our region,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Corey Wiggins. “Delta Regional Authority’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor ensures that residents receive industry-driven skills training for high-demand jobs in their communities, helping to create pathways to high-quality careers and economic mobility in some of the most persistently impoverished areas of the United States.”
     NTCC and Southeastern represent two of only three higher education institutions in Louisiana to receive Delta Regional Authority awards totaling a $3 million combined investment on the Northshore. The parishes to be served  by the grant include Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
     “The strategic partnership between Tangipahoa Economic Development, Southeastern, and NTCC has been an integral part of the economic growth and prosperity of Tangipahoa parish over the last several decades,” said Executive Director of Tangipahoa Economic Development Ginger B. Cangelosi. “With this grant, both institutions will be able to continue supporting local industry by providing advanced educational opportunities to our residents that will help build wealth and provide financial stability for our citizens. In turn, we will all continue to reap the benefits of a relationship that has vastly improved the economic landscape of Tangipahoa Parish, as well as the entire Northshore region, and we are pleased to support them in their efforts.”
     “Southeastern and NTCC are our closest partners in higher education and workforce training in our region, and this investment into some of our key industry sectors on the Northshore—healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and logistics—will strengthen economic competitiveness, career advancement, and job creation opportunities for the entire region,” said Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation, the economic development organization for St. Tammany. “Workforce development, talent retention, and talent recruitment are at the top of the list of considerations for businesses when making investment decisions, and Southeastern and NTCC are both cultivating a strong pipeline of talent in these important industry sectors for Southeastern Louisiana.”
     Southeastern’s Louisiana Education Advancement Program for Nurses will achieve four goals over the three-year grant period. First, LEAP for Nurses will assist Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN) in increasing skills, attaining good jobs and increasing wages. Second, it will provide access to workforce development programs for veterans and individuals from historically marginalized and underserved communities. Third, it will also increase the number of nurse educators prepared at the graduate level. Last, LEAP for Nurses will promote economic transformation through increased employment and retention in RN positions within the care economy of the region served.
     LEAP for Nurses will target newly graduated or incumbent nurses (LPNs and RNs) who are residents of one of the 10 rural DRA parishes. Priority will be given to nurses who are veterans or eligible spouses of veterans, followed by those from historically underserved groups adversely affected by persistent poverty, discrimination, or inequality, including but not limited to, black, indigenous, people of color; LGBTQ+ individuals; women; and individuals with disabilities.
     “We are thrilled to have received this grant, as it will not only help us provide programs for underserved and marginalized communities, but for veterans as well,” said Southeastern President William S. Wainwright. “As an economic driver for our surrounding communities, Southeastern prioritizes workforce development opportunities and seeks to provide them whenever possible. We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with Hood Memorial Hospital, Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Lallie Kemp Medical Center, North Oaks Health System, and St. Tammany Health System that serve as training grounds and educational resources for our students.”
     As part of Southeastern’s grant, NTCC will receive subawards to provide assistance with tuition and fees. In return, NTCC will provide an LPN-to-RN (ADN) education program, promote the program to LPN and RN students, and participate in advisory council and strategic planning meetings.
     NTCC’s grant will help establish new programs in advanced manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and industrial safety programs. NTCC Interim Chancellor Jim Carlson said it will significantly enhance the educational opportunities and workforce training capabilities at NTCC, ensuring that students are well prepared for the demands of today’s rapidly evolving job market.
     In partnership with Greater New Orleans, Inc. and St. Tammany Corporation, these new programs will serve as an onramp into high-wage, high-demand careers, he explained.
     “This grant represents a significant milestone for NTCC and the local community,” Carlson said. “It will not only strengthen the college’s educational offerings, but it will also contribute to the economic development of the region by producing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of our local industries.”


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