Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) to expand heavy equipment operator training courses
Patrick Forbes Director of the Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit and Chair of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative has announced the Flood Ready Workforce Development Program which provides heavy equipment training funded by HUD CDBG

By Murray Wennerlund published 5-22-2022 updated 8-12-2022

Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program (RLHP) announced in Action Plan Amendment 16 the creation of Flood-Ready Workforce Development Program.

Unmet Need:

A 2018 labor market analysis conducted by the Louisiana Economic Development (LED) and the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) identified that heavy equipment operators benefit flood recovery efforts and are in high demand. In addition, the job growth and wages in this sector are projected to increase over the next 10 years. However, there is a lack of sufficient training resources to meet the labor market demand.

Program Summary:

The Flood Ready Workforce Development Program will provide Louisiana residents the opportunity to develop and enhance their skill sets while addressing market demand and future growth. This program will also produce a better trained, better skilled workforce that delivers more resilient building practices, while ensuring mitigation projects funded will reduce future flood and hazard risks. In the Flood-Ready Workforce Development Program, OCD will partner with Louisiana Community and Technical College System to pay for training programs and resources that will aid disaster recovery and resilience efforts. Through this newly created program, the state will provide resources for multiple workforce training, education, and/or certification subprograms that will address short-term recovery from the 2016 floods events. Additionally, this program will benefit long-term mitigation efforts across Louisiana as the state implements its Louisiana Watershed Initiative Projects.

Proposed Use of Funds:

OCD will partner with the Technical College System (LCTCS) to launch subprograms in support of increasing the supply of in-demand and job-ready heavy equipment operators statewide, providing good paying jobs, expediting recovery efforts, and addressing unmet infrastructure needs. OCD will provide funding and technical assistance. OCD will award the full program amount of $3,500,000 to Louisiana Workforce Commission with the intent of the funds to be categorized as public service but may be used as economic development if needed.

Eligible Applicants:

OCD-DRU will manage the program by providing funds to Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges to develop, expand and implement heavy equipment operator training courses.

Criteria for Selection:

Must be a part of the LCTCS and the training program must be approved by LWC.

Method of Distribution:

Funds will be granted by agreement to LWC who will reimburse eligible costs incurred by the colleges implementing the programs.

Action Plan Amendment 17 update: 

Identified as the only source for training, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) will be expanded to include heavy equipment operator training courses.

In an effort to streamline and expedite funding, OCD will partner directly with the LCTCS to implement this program. OCD will approve the training courses and reimburse eligible costs directly to the LCTCS.

Research Resource: