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Entergy gives $1 million to support Louisiana workforce training

By Jennifer Larino

Entergy is giving $1 million in grants to Louisiana workforce development programs, including money for job training at Delgado Community College as well as re-entry support for the formerly incarcerated in New Orleans, company leaders said Monday (Nov. 14).

Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May and Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice in downtown New Orleans to announce the grants, which will be used to support five different organizations statewide working to educate, train and prepare local residents for careers in growing industries. Entergy leaders said the grants are funded by shareholder dollars.

Edwards said the state needs to do a better job at finding and helping groups most vulnerable in today’s economy, whether they are young people at risk of dropping out of college, those whose factory jobs are being replaced by technology or formerly incarcerated men and women struggling to find stable work.

“If you get right down to it this $1 million is an investment in the most precious natural resource that God has entrusted to us. That is our people,” Edwards said.

The grants include:

  • $500,000 to Louisiana Economic Development to fund manufacturing certifications through the state’s Fast Start and Jump Start programs.
  • $169,000 to Operation Spark, which provides software design and engineering immersion training for low-income young adults in New Orleans.
  • $100,000 to the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation for scholarships and training for students seeking construction certifications.
  • $100,000 to Delgado Community College for scholarships, support and training of students seeking certifications in construction, health care and technology.
  • $75,000 to Jobs for America’s Graduates of Louisiana to provide education support service and job training for at-risk youth.
  • $75,000 to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to provide case management and a revolving loan fund for the re-entry program,

Entergy has committed to donating $5 million over the next five years in support job-training programs. These grants are the first announced under the initiative.

Not all of the $5 million will be going to Louisiana. Entergy plans to support workforce initiatives across its service territory, which also includes Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.

Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice and Patricia Riddlebarger, director of corporate social responsibility for Entergy Services Inc., said the New Orleans grants target areas where the company feels its dollars can go farthest: health care, technology and the oppressive cycle of mass incarceration.

The $75,000 grant to the Criminal District Court’s re-entry program will help fund a revolving loan fund that will help men and women getting out of prison improve their credit and access affordable financial services.

Operation Spark will use its grant to fund seats in the program’s three-month software design and engineering immersion course, which readies students for jobs in software development.

Entergy provides power and it thrives only if the community it serves thrives, Riddlebarger said.

Rice added the utility also plays a role in helping attract companies to the state. It makes sense to ensure the region’s workers are educated and prepared for jobs in the pipeline, he said.

“We are also in the economic development business and us making these grants is a part of that strategy,” Rice said.

State officials and business leaders crowded Monday into a meeting room at the Entergy New Orleans building on Perdido Street for the announcement.

They echoed the same concern that framed much of the economic debate during the U.S. presidential election — technology is chipping away at quality jobs available to workers without a college degree. Many parts of the American workforce are playing catch-up.

“Jobs are being replaced by technology, by robotics,” Louisiana Economic Development Sec. Don Pierson said. “The jobs of tomorrow belong to an educated and well-trained workforce.”

Most of the $500,000 grant to Louisiana Economic Development will be used to support job training in north Louisiana. Low U.S. natural gas prices have driven a boom in outside investment in the state’s petrochemical industry, but most of those plants and jobs are in south Louisiana. State officials hope to attract new industries in north Louisiana and statewide by getting workers ready for the type of jobs that will be in demand over coming decades.

Engaging older workers who can be re-trained to do new jobs is a key part of that mission, Edwards said. He recalled a recent visit to Fletcher Technical Community College in Shriever, La. Most of the students were middle-aged men.

“We as a state are going to have to do a better job at identifying those adults who have some college credit, but not enough to have graduated,” Edwards said. “We need to communicate with those people and bring them back.”

Jump Start Video Network information

Jump Start is Louisiana’s innovative career and technical education (CTE) program. Jump Start prepares students to lead productive adult lives, capable of continuing their education after high school while earning certifications in high-wage career sectors.

Students are required to attain industry-promulgated, industry-valued credentials in order to graduate with a Career Diploma. (Jump Start is an elective path for students pursuing a university-preparatory diploma.)

Schools receive the same accountability grade credit for preparing students for careers in high-demand job sectors as they do for students who achieve top academic honors.

Find out more here: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/courses/all-things-jump-start/jump-start-video-network

A Message from Phillip R. May, President and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC

At Entergy, We Power Life. That means going beyond providing essential electric and gas services that power homes, businesses and industries.

Entergy also fuels the human power that comes from working every day together with our community partners to improve lives, create opportunities and strengthen our communities.

When disasters strike, restoring lives is as crucial as getting essential services like electricity and gas back on.

As Entergy workers safely restored electric and gas service to the more than 32,000 customers recently impacted by Louisiana’s devastating floods, we also began implementing proven actions to re-energize communities.

These actions include mobilizing volunteers, making donations and partnering with community recovery organizations. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Salvation Army to help pay electricity and gas bills for flood victims suffering financial hardship.

We’ve earmarked funds from The Power to Care bill payment assistance program to go directly to hurting families in the 20-parish disaster area through the end of the year.

You can help make sure that every family gets the help they need while recovering from the flood.

Make a donation to The Power to Care program, administered by The Salvation Army. The Power to Care provides emergency electricity and gas payment assistance for customers in crisis.

Please consider helping those who have been impacted by the flooding and send a tax-deductible contribution to The Power to Care today. When you give, Entergy shareholders will match your gift, up to $500,000. For example if you donate $25 to the fund, Entergy will donate $25.

Thank you for your generous outpouring of support during these difficult times.

With your gift, we can bring some security, comfort and peace of mind to neighbors who are struggling.

Sincerely,

Phillip R. May
President & CEO

NELEA listed as regional coordinator for National Manufacturing Week

Manufacturing careers offer competitive salaries and exciting opportunities to be on the cutting edge of new technologies and products. Unfortunately, they are often misunderstood in the eyes of young people and the parents and educators who influence them. To address this misconception, industry associations, educators, political leaders, manufacturers, and others have organized and executed initiatives to address the skills gap and to achieve a greater positive perception of manufacturing. “Dream It. Do It.” is one of those initiatives.

The State of Louisiana has joined “Dream It. Do It.”, which was developed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute to showcase the incredible opportunities available in manufacturing to youth from elementary to post-secondary. “Dream It. Do It.” connects parents, students, educators and manufacturers through student and educator tours of manufacturing facilities, classroom visits, and other activities.

Our region has joined with partners across the state of Louisiana to increase manufacturing awareness by providing more opportunities for students and manufacturers to connect. We hope to achieve this goal by working with manufacturers in our region to o er tours and presentations during this year’s National Manufacturing Week (October 3-7, 2016) and by encouraging local high schools to participate in these activities.

The Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance (NELEA) is the regional coordinator for National Manufacturing Week. You can contact them at:

Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance (NELEA)
204 Fair Ave
Winnsboro, LA 71295
318-435-4865

Download brochure here

Applications for Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2015 will begin December 1, 2015

Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2015 is a one-month period for individual and business taxpayers to bring delinquent tax accounts up to date by clearing unpaid tax bills and filing overdue state tax returns. It is a completely voluntary program that begins on December 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM central and ends at 11:59 PM central on December 31, 2015.

Amnesty will be granted only for eligible taxes to eligible taxpayers who apply during the amnesty period and who pay or enter into an installment agreement for all of the tax, 83 percent of the remaining interest due, 67 percent of the remaining penalties and all fees and costs, if applicable, for periods designated on the amnesty

application. If the application is approved, the secretary shall waive 17 percent of the interest and 33 percent of the penalties associated with the tax periods for which amnesty is applied. Taxpayers taking advantage of the 2015 Amnesty program have the opportunity to pay their delinquent amount in installments. See the reverse side of this sheet for more information about installments.

If you have questions about Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2015, visit www.ldrtaxamnesty.com or call the Amnesty Customer Service Line at 1-866-782-9241 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 8:00 PM central time.

Monroe Airport receives $990,000 Grant

U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, announced the Monroe Regional Airport will receive a $990,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The funds will be used to complete the final phase of construction of a new perimeter service road adjacent to the perimeter fence.

“The Monroe Regional Airport plays a critical role in the economic development of Northeast Louisiana’s hub city and the surrounding areas. The funding for this project will continue that mission of uplifting our region. I look forward to continuing my strong relationship with the city of Monroe, and together, we will keep bringing more federal dollars to the city for worthy projects such as this,” Abraham said.

The funds are part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.

“We have done a tremendous amount of improvements to the airport, which includes a new terminal. We appreciate the support of the FAA and the congressional delegation for the ongoing funds for these capital improvements,” said Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo.