ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - It's the latest event to unfold in the expansion of Central Louisiana Technical and Community College.
On Monday, CLTCC announced the Rapides Foundation is giving the school a hefty three-year grant worth $2 million. But there's more where that came from. With that, the state will match it, bringing the total to $4 million.
"This is the biggest non-construction related grant in the history of our college,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, President of CLTCC.
So, where's the money going? They plan to create what they call an "advanced manufacturing center.” They want to upgrade equipment, and further educate instructors on manufacturing. An are of expertise local stakeholders say is the future.
"This is what the new economy will look like,” said Monty Sullivan, President of Louisiana’s Community and Technical College System. “This is how you participate in tomorrow's economy."
The center will be at the old McCormick building in downtown Alexandria, tying in with the plan to build a new campus downtown in 2019.
"All of our projects are going in the same direction, so we couldn't be more grateful," said Sawtelle.
It’s been a long process of vetting for the Rapides Foundation. It’s an organization usually focused on health initiatives, but they are hoping boosting education will in turn promote healthy living.
"The folks that receive this training will be able to receive higher incomes and we as a foundation believe that translates into better health," said Joe Rosier, President, CEO of the Rapides Foundation.
It’s an effort stakeholders hope help students and better the community.
"But we can't wait to see the return on investment,” said Sawtelle. “More graduates with higher skills that can make higher wage and have higher impact on Cenla's business and industry."
Sawtelle said they hope the new downtown campus will open in the fall of 2019.