THE PROVIDENCE HOUSE & BPCC ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT/JOB SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM EXPANSION
by: Amanda Crane, Digital Communications Coordinator, BPCC
Shreveport, LA – The Providence House (TPH) and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) are excited to announce new partnership grants to expand its Workforce Development/Job Skills Training Program. The expanded program, a collaboration between the two organizations that began nearly two years ago, will provide tuition fees for industry-based certifications for both The Providence House clients as well as community individuals. The BPCC instructional site at The Providence House will provide classes at TPH’s Education Center. TPH’s 4-star Childcare Center will provide childcare for participants.
The Providence House Executive Director Verni Howard says the organization is excited to be collaborating with Bossier Parish Community College to expand this unique program. “This expanded workforce development partnership levels the playing field not just for homeless families, but for the unemployed or underemployed. Education and workforce development/job skills training are the only tools that will permanently break the bonds of homelessness and poverty, and this program, which will be open to the community, will lift our entire community and change the economic landscape.”
BPCC Vice Chancellor for Economic and Workforce Development Dr. Gayle Flowers says the College looks forward to continuing its mission of providing workforce development and job skills training for workers in specific high-demand industry jobs. “We change the landscape of our community when we empower through employment by teaching the talent and skills needed to secure living-wage jobs, and we grow the economy when northwest Louisiana employers have work-ready individuals available to fill their open positions. What lifts up one individual, lifts and unites us all.”
In January 2018, after considering the state of the educational outcomes in the Shreveport-Bossier metropolitan area and the need for skilled workers in specific high-demand industry jobs, The Providence House and BPCC embarked on a training and job skills effort investing in a community segment with the greatest needs – homeless, poor, and unskilled adults.
After identifying specific market-driven opportunities, the first cohort of students began coursework in April of 2018. To date, twenty-eight (28) adults entered the program and twenty-one (21) completed the required courses. Of those who completed coursework, all received certifications and fourteen (14) are working with local employers earning $14 or more per hour. These results demonstrate that The Providence House-BPCC partnership investment moves individuals in our community out of poverty. By braiding funds available from local investors, an expanded program will have an even deeper impact.
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A press conference to announce partnership investors and details of the expanded workforce- training program was held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 17, in front of the Education Center, at Providence House, 825 Cotton St., Shreveport, LA.