GNO, Inc. Applauds Signing of Senate Bill 204, Facilities With a Purpose

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 17, 2013
Contact Information: Caitlin Berni, Greater New Orleans, Inc., 504.527.6980, cberni@gnoinc.org
GNO, Inc. Applauds Signing of Senate Bill 204, Facilities With a Purpose 

Priority Legislation Will Allow Community and Technical Colleges to Expand 

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) applauded Governor Bobby Jindal for signing into law Senate Bill 204, Facilities with a Purpose, sponsored by Senator Robert Adley. Senate Bill 204 provides for the issuance of bonds to finance capital improvements for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. This law is crucial to building the physical and program capacity of community and technical colleges, and will ensure a robust workforce pipeline for foundational and emerging sectors in Louisiana. 

“The greatest concern businesses across industry sectors express when deciding whether to locate or expand in Greater New Orleans is the availability of trained workforce,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Senate Bill 204 will provide much needed resources to our community and technical colleges so that they can expand and continue producing a quality, trained workforce. Moreover, Greater New Orleans was recently ranked the number three metro area for “technical jobs that require less than bachelor’s degrees” by the Brookings Institution – underscoring the plentiful job opportunities available to those with associate’s degrees, and the need for a strong community and technical college system in Louisiana.” 

“The signing of Senate Bill 204 by Governor Jindal signifies the state's commitment to ensure that Louisiana's community and technical colleges will continue to solve the problems faced by employers, build strong communities, strengthen our state's economy, and create a growing middle-class", said Joe May, president, Louisiana Community and Technical College System. "This legislation will modernize facilities and provide the training necessary for our graduates to gain access to not only good jobs, but some of the best jobs in the state. It will also enable us to maintain the course-one of unprecedented enrollment growth, record numbers of graduates, and 21st Century program development aligned with business and industry." 

“The New Orleans economy today is one of the strongest anywhere in the nation,” said Dr. Monty Sullivan, Chancellor of Delgado Community College. “Continued growth of our economy, our businesses, and our people depend in part on our ability to produce a skilled workforce. Delgado Community College has an essential role to play in this effort. Each project within Senate Bill 204 aligns with a growth sector within our economy and will directly impact the regional workforce and economy.” 

“Senate Bill 204 will supply valuable funds for a Student Success Center at Nunez Community College and be a terrific addition to our campus,” said Dr. Thomas Warner, Chancellor of Nunez Community College. “It will provide a much-needed facility that will enhance academic and technical program support for our students.” 

“The new facility will create state-of-the art Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming located in the heart of St. Tammany Parish and serving the greater northshore,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, Chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College. “Economic development trends for the greater northshore indicate demand in the advanced technologies and health sciences sector over the next 10 years. To meet this increasing demand and to meet the needs of the regional economy, advanced workforce training and academic programming in these high demand high wage sectors are essential. I applaud our Governor and our Legislators for this tremendous investment in building a stronger Louisiana." 

“With the passage of Senate Bill 204, River Parishes campus of the South Central Louisiana Technical College will be positioned to meet the training needs of the River Region's business and industries,” said Cindy Poskey, Chief Facilities Officer of South Central Louisiana Technical College. “The physical expansion of campus facilities will provide for training in the high demand areas of Process Technology, Instrumentation and Industrial Maintenance.” 

“The passage of Senate Bill 204 will be a real boost to River Parishes Community College,” said Dr. Joe Ben Welch, Chancellor of River Parishes Community College. “These new resources will allow us to drastically expand our workforce training programs, and increase our student population to approximately 6000 students in the coming years.” 

“Senate Bill 204 will provide critical resources to our community and technical college system, which will ensure greater training opportunities for Louisiana students and companies,” said State Senator Ed Murray. “I was proud to work with the Louisiana Commmunity and Technical College System to secure its passage.”