ALEXANDRIA, La., (WNTZ) — Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is excited to be part of Professional Resilience Occupations Louisiana (PRO Louisiana), a workforce development program of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative for professional resilience occupations, in partnership with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

“CLTCC’s class will start September 26,” explained CLTCC Vice Chancellor, Workforce Development Misty Slayter. “The course is nine weeks, during which time the participants can earn NCCER Heavy Equipment Operator Level 2 certification. They can also choose an add-on to earn a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) immediately upon completion of the heavy equipment operator course.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the program’s launch in February. PRO Louisiana provides federal funding for disaster resilience training courses and certification. The goal is to develop a skilled workforce to support statewide resilience efforts, including LWI flood risk reduction projects, and build up Louisiana’s defense against future disasters.

“We’ve awarded more than $450 million in federal funds to flood mitigation projects statewide that will break ground over the next few years, which means we need trained resilience professionals to support these efforts now more than ever,” Gov. Edwards said. “PRO Louisiana highlights the Louisiana Watershed Initiative’s comprehensive approach to disaster defense. Beyond funding mitigation projects throughout the state, we’re preparing a workforce to deliver those projects and fill in-demand jobs in disaster resilience.”

CLTCC Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Sawtelle said, “CLTCC is very proud to be able to participate in this program to not only support our state’s watershed initiative efforts, but to help Central Louisiana residents get the skills they need to be able to get high-paying, high-demand jobs.” Initial courses will focus on resilience training for heavy equipment operators, which are in demand and crucial to the success of flood resilience efforts in Louisiana, according to a 2018 labor market analysis by LED and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. In the long term, PRO Louisiana will support additional courses in other areas, such as flood risk analysis and resilient construction methods for builders, contractors and other professionals.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative to provide resilience training courses through PRO Louisiana, which will benefit the futures of our students and of our state,” LCTCS President Monty Sullivan said. “Demand for trained resilience professionals is on the rise as our communities recover from previous disasters and prepare for the growing risks of future ones. PRO Louisiana courses will provide the training and skills students need to secure essential, well-paid jobs with a higher purpose: safeguarding our state.”

LED Secretary Don Pierson added, “Louisiana has the best workforce development training programs in the country, and higher education partnerships that deliver customized training are a big reason why. By equipping students with skills to perform specialized resilience work, PRO Louisiana strengthens our economy in a way that literally rebuilds our state. LED is proud to partner with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to capitalize on these federal funds and fill the talent pipeline for a growing job sector.”

Scholarships and tuition assistance is available for eligible students. To learn more about the program visit www.cltcc.edu/page-review/pro-louisiana.

For general information about enrollment visit www.CLTCC.edu/apply. For more information, contact the school via email at info@cltcc.edu or call 1-800-278-9855.

Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is a two-year technical and community college offering associate degrees, technical diplomas, industry certificates, and customized training in more than 20 disciplines to support local workforce development and prepare students for high-demand and high-wage careers. CLTCC serves 7 parishes in Central Louisiana through its eight campuses and provides instruction in one state prison and one federal correctional institution. For more information, visit www.cltcc.edu.