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Louisiana Board of Regents Approves Fletcher Technical Community College Deepwater Center for Workforce Excellence
Louisiana Board of Regents Approves Fletcher Technical Community College Deepwater Center for Workforce Excellence Schriever, La. – At their monthly meeting yesterday, the Louisiana Board of Regents motioned to approve the official designation of “Deepwater Center for Workforce Excellence” to Fletcher Technical Community College for deepwater oil and gas production. The Center will be developed and operated in accordance with the requirement of Act 555 of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, LCTCS, and Board of Regents policy, adopted in June 2013. The Deepwater Center for Workforce Excellence will incorporate private and public sector support to emphasize education and training programs in partnership with business and industry to meet defined workforce training needs. The public and private support is evidenced by a $4 million commitment of Governor Bobby Jindal from the State of Louisiana in 2012 and a $4 million contribution from BP America, Inc., to build the Integrated Production Technologies (IPT) Building which will house the Petroleum Center for Workforce Excellence. The BP Integrated Production Technologies Building’s grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, March 21, 2014. The demand from business and industry for Associate of Applied Science-degreed job candidates and for responsive, workforce training programs is at an all-time high. This demand is driven by worldwide growth in oil & gas production, the retirement of the industry’s highly-experienced baby boomers, rapid technological progress in exploration and production, and comprehensive regulatory compliance requirements. According to Dr. Monty Sullivan, newly appointed system president for Louisiana's Community and Technical Colleges, "The Board of Regent's approval today is another positive step to meet the oil and gas industry's workforce needs. Fletcher Technical Community College taking lead on this Center of Excellence will create opportunities to further partner with South Central Louisiana Technical College, Nicholls State University, and others to better serve the needs of the region and the entire state." Fletcher’s Petroleum Division currently serves 169 students, an enrollment increase of over 200% from 2010. Presently, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Integrated Production Technologies. Beginning in 2015 students will also be able to earn an AAS degree in Production Maintenance. As a result of the new Deepwater Center for Workforce Excellence and BP IPT Building, Fletcher will be able to serve more than 600 students annually between the two Applied Sciences programs. "The Center of Excellence approval is another example of our partners working with us to provide more opportunities to our regions' students." says Stevie Smith, Fletcher Foundation Chairman and LCTCS Board of Supervisor. In addition to BP’s continued support of the program, Fletcher has shown evidence of other industry support from companies such as Black Hawk, C & D Production, Conoco Phillips, Danos, Shell, Halliburton, and Shamrock Energy Solutions.

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