CLTC awarded $900K in grants

Published 12:06 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

ALEXANDRIA — In an effort to take students directly from the classroom into the workforce after graduation, Central Louisiana Technical College will use almost $900,000 in grants toward training students in a variety of high-demand jobs.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System awarded the college $890,460 in Rapid Response grants to address workforce training demands in the Central Louisiana region.

The funds will help train students in forestry, industrial and manufacturing technology and commercial vehicle operation, said CLTC interim director Jimmy Sawtelle.

Email newsletter signup

“We want students to leave our school and go directly into the workplace being familiar with the same technology and equipment these industries require,” Sawtelle said. “This will help us upgrade the programs we already have and provide a strong reinforcement for all of our campuses.”

Grant funds are awarded based on training proposals submitted by the college, who partner with local industry and economic development organizations.

“We are grateful to the state of Louisiana for seeing these worthwhile partnerships and initiatives as an investment in Cenla that will see exceptional returns,” Sawtelle said.

Part of the proposals included developing a secondary to post-secondary initiative, which allows students to earn college credit while enrolled in high school.

Those credits can then be used toward students obtaining a post-secondary credential in forestry technology.

Another portion of the grant funding will allow the college to offer a short-term training program in commercial vehicle operation to prepare students to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

“The beauty of the commercial driver’s license training is that it will be portable,” Sawtelle said. “So if the Ferriday area has high demand for that industry, which we’re pretty certain they do, we can take that training on the road to their campus.”

The remaining grant funds will be used to expand the college’s existing program to train students in industrial maintenance and manufacturing technology.

CLTC is currently developing the new and expanded training programs, with enrollment slated to start this June.