Meeting the workforce needs of a diverse business base is one of Morehouse Parish’s greatest offerings to companies seeking opportunities for growth. Area workers are dedicated to quality, finding satisfaction within their jobs, and adopting a loyal, pro-company point of view.
A fine example of this dedication is the former workers of the recently closed International Paper plant who kept the plant operating for another two years in 2007 by offering reduced wages/benefits and assisting with streamlining operational costs. Some of these same workers are available to meet a multitude of workforce needs.
The highly skilled include machinists, processors, welders, mechanics and service technicians that have experience in specialty chemicals, wood molding, and industrial fabrication and maintenance.
Like many other parishes located outside of a major metropolitan area, Morehouse Parish also has utilized the resources of Louisiana’s Northeast Region (Caldwell, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Union), an 8-parish area that provides a 137,000-person labor force.
Louisiana FastStart, the state’s new company and job specific training for business modeled after the Georgia’s award- winning program, was implemented in late 2009. This is a state-funded economic development incentive free-of-charge for companies locating or expanding in Louisiana.
The program has streamlined the current job training process to incorporate specific company needs to develop a curriculum for each company who then becomes owner of the program. Companies work directly with the technical college system industry-specific staff in this process.
The Louisiana Incumbent Worker Training Program is designed to benefit business and industry by assisting in skill development of existing employees and Increasing employee productivity and growth of the company. Both are expected to result in the creation of new jobs, the retention of jobs that otherwise may have been eliminated, and an increase in wages for the trained workers.
Bastrop has two technical college campuses of the Delta Community College System (formerly Region 8 Technical College), which offer degree and certificate programs as well as customized workforce training for businesses. The Bastrop Campus has an expanded welding program that serves area metal fabrication businesses.
The two campuses are a part of Delta Community College System consisting of seven campuses offering welding, nursing, computer technology, biomedical technology, industrial maintenance, office systems, industrial instrumentation, and other valuable programs to serve the workforce development needs.
The Northeast region is home to universities that not only provide a broad curriculum, but research institutions that are the catalyst for business start-ups and expansions. The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM)and Louisiana Tech University (LTU) have an enrollment of nearly 20,000 students in such degree programs as business, pharmacy, chemistry, and nursing as well as research in the areas of micro manufacturing, biomedical engineering, pharmacy and more.
Grambling University (GSU) has strong connections to Morehouse Parish with an active alumni association which sponsors scholarships to the historic university in west Lincoln Parish. These educational facilities are within a reasonable commute with ULM being about a 25 minute drive.