from The Daily Iberian
Officials from Cleco Corp. announced a $20,000 investment into South Louisiana Community College Wednesday morning at SLCC’s main campus.
“We’re here to announce the $20,000 investment in our students from our local power company Cleco,” Associate Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development Jermaine Ford said. “Today is about providing scholarships that help students graduate into the workforce.”
Several business and parish leaders spoke at the event in regards to the announcement. Jude Hebert with Cleco said the scholarship will work to benefit low-income residents and displaced workers.
“A lot of people have been hurt by the economy,” Hebert said. “It’s going to give an opportunity to people who maybe have lost their jobs, it’ll give them a chance.”
The scholarship comes almost two years after Cleco was bought out by the Australian investor Macquarie Group. Hebert said a committee was formed to ensure the community that Cleco is still interested in investing in Iberia Parish, and SLCC was one of the first candidates.
“One of the things we looked at was education,” Hebet said. “We wanted to get everyone a fair chance and thought that’s where money could be allocated to make a difference in the community.”
Director of the Iberia Industrial Development Foundation Mike Tarantino said Cleco remains an important partner in developing Iberia Parish.
“SLCC is a driving force behind workforce development and making sure that our students are trained for the workforce,” Tarantino said. “We’ve been blessed to have a partner in Cleco.”
Iberia Parish President Larry Richard was unable to attend the event, but executive assistant Cynthia Provost said the administration was proud to have partners like SLCC and Cleco.
“This is going to help employment and this is going to help families all across the parish,” Provost said.
Students in degree programs and some training courses will have $1,000 scholarships available. However, those students must be enrolled full-time, residents of Iberia Parish and Cleco customers. They must also be either displaced or low-income residents.
Students can apply beginning March 15 by visiting www.solacc.edu/scholarships.