The Louisiana House of Representatives has approved Senate Bill 204 by Robert Adley, R-Benton, a statewide facilities initiative that will improve Louisiana’s Community and Technical College facilities. The bill provides increased training capacity and opportunities for students, business and industry in both rural and urban areas across the state.
Included in the bill is $18.5 million for a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) building for Bossier Parish Community College. This building will house programs that will train individuals for high-demand, high-paying careers in these fields.
“This was a monumental win for students, employers and communities – not only in NW Louisiana but in the entire state,” said BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson. “The new STEM facility at BPCC will produce the skilled workforce our employers need, and in turn, create a better quality of life for our residents.”
The bill authorizes financing and construction of 29 projects in the amount of $251.6 million. Twelve percent, or $34.3 million, will be provided from local private matching funds. The program will provide 25 workforce projects, 3 one stop student testing, career and service centers, and one safety related project.
“The approval of SB204 shows a commitment by the Legislature to continue to invest in, and improve, facilities for career and technical education programs to meet the growing demand for a skilled labor force,” said Joe May, president, Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “This action will enable us to maintain the course—one of unprecedented enrollment growth, program development aligned with business and industry, and graduating highly skilled students who will produce tangible, economically beneficial results for our state.”
Governor Jindal said, “We have always been committed to investing in higher education, and we supported a move to utilize this funding source in 2008. It has been very successful in helping educate a highly skilled workforce right here in Louisiana. In fact, since 2008, we have supported more than $700 million in critical higher education infrastructure investments across our state. Included in that $700 million is more than $225 million at Louisiana Community and Technical College Campuses. These schools are a critical pipeline for workforce needs, and we are proud to fund them however we can.”