Gov. Edwards expected to sign bill increasing community college access for adults

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Louisiana Community and Technical College System says by 2026, more than a quarter-million Louisiana adults will need education beyond a high school diploma. A new grant proposal on Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk could fix that.

Senate Bill 148 creates the MJ Foster Promise Program, a $10.5 million state fund for students taking courses in growing industry sectors like construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing and transportation and logistics.

The bill received unanimous support from the state legislature, and Gov. Edwards is expected to sign it into law.

The program is for people ages 21 and older who are enrolled in a two-year, post-secondary school or a short-term work training program.

Dr. Jimmy Sawtelle, the Chancellor of CLTCC, says giving people access to education to get better jobs can help the state’s economy.

“These jobs are critical to Central Louisiana rebounding after incidents like COVID-19. And why it’s essential is, even before COVID, Louisiana Central said that 75% of the jobs require more than a high school diploma, but less than a university degree for entry into high-wage, high-demand, high-skill careers,” Dr. Sawtelle said.

GPA and ACT test scores are not required for the grant program, but applicants must meet the income requirements. The program could start shelling out cash to students by July 2022.

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