[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish Council discusses new Nunez Community College program
westley at da-parish.com
Wed May 22 10:19:16 EDT 2013
St. Bernard Parish Council discusses new Nunez Community College program
At a St. Bernard Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, the parish
administration and Nunez Community College, along with GNO Inc., announced
an initiative to provide local high school students with college-level
technical training. The program, financed with $500,000 in parish Community
Development Block Grant funds, will help develop and buy equipment for the
advanced manufacturing classes and would pay tuition for 140 students, ages
16 to 24, to participate in the two- to three-year program.
Teresa Smith, Nunez's executive director of institutional advancement, said
alumni of the program are expected to earn about $30,000 to $40,000 annually
within three months of graduating. St. Bernard Chief Administrative Officer
Jerry Graves said that's just the base salary, and that most people in such
careers in the metro New Orleans area eventually earn more than $60,000
Jana Sikdar, GNO Inc.'s educational liaison, said such programs help keep
people working in the New Orleans area. "It will connect people to jobs here
as opposed to Ohio or Tennessee," she said.
The programs will focus on skill sets such as industrial maintenance or
process technology, often known as P-Tech. Smith said, for example, that the
college might purchase a welding simulation machine and institute an
introduction welding class.
We have a lot of students who need this track as opposed to the four-year
college track." -- Councilman Guy McInnis
Councilman Guy McInnis, a high school teacher, said he can see the need for
such programs. "We have a lot of students who need this track as opposed to
the four-year college track," he said.
Graves said he expects to receive another $50,000 to $75,000 grant for the
program through the Regional Planning Commission.
The new program comes on top of one announced last year to provide culinary,
hospitality and entrepreneurship training to Nunez students. That program is
being financed by a nearly $2.8 million grant through Trade Adjustment
Assistance Community College to Career Training program.
About 315 students are graduating from Nunez on Tuesday night, Nunez
Chancellor Thomas Warner said at the meeting.
In other Parish Council news, the council introduced ordinances to finally
begin the transfer of about 1,200 Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Louisiana Land
Trust lots from the state to the parish. The actual transfer might not
happen until the end of July.
The Parish Council also introduced the approval of about $9.7 million in
bonds to mainly pay for fire services through the end of the year. While
voters last year passed a 20-mill tax increase to get the Fire Department
out of its budget hole and prevent layoffs, the parish government will not
receive that money until January, so it needs a cash advance to keep the
department afloat, Graves said after the meeting.
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