ALEXANDRIA – Cleco completed its pledged giving of $100,000 to support LSUA’s
Accountants for the Future initiative. LSUA Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil and Cleco
President and CEO Bill Fontenot celebrated with a ceremonial “big” check presentation.

Like many local business leaders, Fontenot supports the idea that we can educate and
employ qualified accountants right here in central Louisiana. Accounting is essential to
the growth and sustainability of nearly every industry. As such, LSUA has devoted
significant energy to revitalizing its pathway into this crucial career.

“Cleco’s significant commitment to LSUA’s Accountants for the Future initiative will
result in more qualified accountants entering the workforce,” said LSUA Chancellor
Coreil. “By adding faculty and enhancing curriculum, the LSUA College of Business is
committed to preparing and graduating job ready accounting students that can live and
enjoy a successful career right here in central Louisiana.”

“Cleco is honored to be a part of the Accountants for the Future project to grow the
accounting department at LSUA,” said Bill Fontenot, president and CEO of Cleco
Corporate Holdings. “This donation is an investment in the communities where we live,
work, and serve, and Cleco is committed to helping leading institutions like LSUA
prepare their students to meet current and future workforce needs.”

Dr. Randall Dupont, Dean of the LSUA College of Business, explained CENLA
Accountants for the Future is a public-private initiative by seven central Louisiana firms
to place more accounting graduates in the workforce. Members of the group include
Cleco, RoyOMartin, Crest Industries, Virtual Partner Advantage, Red River Bank, Payne
Moore Herrington, and Central Management. Other partnerships are in progress. The
initiative was spearheaded by Roy O. Martin, III in 2020, who brought together other
companies to address the local shortage of professional accountants and auditors.
Members of the group wanted to equip more LSUA graduates with the knowledge and
competencies to successfully complete the CPA exam and enter into public accounting,
industry, governmental, or non-profit employment in Central Louisiana and beyond.

Accountants and auditors are listed as five-star occupations, according to the Louisiana
Workforce Commission, and the profession has been under-represented locally based
upon the area’s population. Accountants and auditors earn an annual salary range of
$44,000 – $78,000.

“The accounting profession is changing,” noted Dupont. “Employers now need
graduates who are well versed in information systems and data analytics. With support
from Cleco and other members of Cenla Accountants for the Future, we have been able
to identify these new workforce needs and have elevated our program to meet the
challenge. LSUA’s B.S. in Accounting now offers a concentration in Accounting
Information Systems and Data Analytics. The program is offered on-campus and 100%
online.”

For more information about Accounting at LSUA, visit explore.lsua.edu.