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SkillUp Coalition

South Louisiana Community College named first grant recipient in the nation

SkillUp, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping displaced workers land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries, has awarded their first nationally-competitive grant of up to $100,000 to South Louisiana Community College. This grant is designed to aid low-income students as they navigate the road to workforce readiness.

The SkillUp Coalition launched its first statewide career navigation portal in Louisiana in 2021. Because of its strong coordinated efforts, like the 55 by 25 initiative, the Acadiana region was one of three regions where SkillUp focused its efforts. SkillUp engaged regional economic development agency One Acadiana to connect partners and facilitate collaboration.

“One Acadiana is proud to have served as regional intermediary for the SkillUp Louisiana initiative,” said Troy Wayman, One Acadiana CEO. “We are pleased SLCC was able to secure this grant funding to provide job seekers with flexible financial assistance for in-demand training programs. SLCC’s rapid retraining programs have proven outcomes for getting job seekers quickly retrained and reemployed in high-wage, high-demand jobs.”

Anthony L. Baham, SLCC’s Interim Vice President or Workforce & Economic Development, has identified the three qualifying programs that this grant will target based on industry demand and projected growth in accompanying career sectors. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, professionals in these “4-star jobs” typically earn between $40,000 - $60,000 per year and can take as few as three weeks of training.

 “This grant will provide direct support for the students in the Commercial Vehicle Operations (CDL), Power Lineman, and Basic Industrial Scaffolding programs through December 31st. Career opportunities abound in these fields, and this process will ensure that these students can achieve success in the classroom while preparing them for the workforce,” Baham said.

The grant funding is a part of the Rapid Reskilling Grant Fund and requires SLCC to screen students for eligibility, deliver training, and monitor progress. Eligible recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship to defray tuition costs. Participants accepted into one of the three programs must be 18 years or older, have an income of no more than $40,000, and have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. They must also register on the SkillUp platform.

Prospective participants can visit SLCC’s Continuing Education page online at www.solacc.edu and select Contact Us to get information on any of the eligible programs.

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