July 18, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. — The state Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit has awarded $2,702,000 to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Facilities Corporation to expand Fletcher Technical Community College in Houma.
The college will use the funds to acquire 38.6 acres of land and build an academic and administration building, making room for the increased enrollment the school is experiencing. As a result of the 2008 storms, the college’s roster has continued to expand, leading to its largest enrollment in the fall semester of 2010. Enrollment now exceeds full capacity.
“The damages from hurricanes Gustav and Ike have left the area served by Fletcher College in greater need of a skilled workforce in order to continue their recovery,” said OCD-DRU Interim Executive Director Pat Forbes. “South central Louisiana will need the skilled workforce that Fletcher educates to rebuild their community, both physically and economically. ”
Fletcher Technical Community College Chancellor Travis Lavigne said, “The Houma-Thibodaux area continues to be recognized as having the lowest unemployment in the state and the country. Thanks to the dedication and untiring efforts of our entire legislative delegation, especially Rep. Gordon Dove, and Gov. Jindal, this award will allow Fletcher Technical Community College to continue to provide for the workforce needs of our growing student population and economy in this area.”
Fletcher is a two-year public community college that was established in 1951 on land donated by the Terrebonne Parish School Board. As a result of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, four buildings at Fletcher sustained damages worth $983,841.
The project is part of the $30 million Economic Revitalization Program, funded with Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Louisiana by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for recovery from hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The program is promoting economic recovery in storm-impacted areas through:
- Acquisition and disposition of property;
- Public facilities improvements;
- Rehabilitation and construction of buildings;
- Provision of public services, such as job training;
- Activities carried out through nonprofit organizations;
- Assistance to neighborhood-based organizations, local development corporations and nonprofits serving the developing needs of communities; and
- Energy efficiency/conservation programs.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana’s citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state’s central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.