—On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis visited Nunez Community College in Chalmette to award the College with nearly $2.8 million dollars in grant funding. Nunez is the only single institution in Louisiana to receive funds under this program. A consortium of schools from Louisiana and Mississippi, working with Bossier Parish Community College in the Shreveport/Bossier area, are the other participants awarded in Louisiana.
The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative. Nunez will use the funding to implement a redesigned Associates of Applied Science for Business Administration and two new Associates of Applied Science degrees with an emphasis in entrepreneurship/small business management, and Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism administration.
Secretary Solis toured the College campus and participated in discussions with Nunez Chancellor Dr. Thomas R. Warner; Business Administration students; and, a cross-section of community and university partners, including St. Bernard Parish Government officials; School Board representatives; local business and industry leaders; and, Dr. Peter J. Fos, President of the University of New Orleans, one of several four-year institutions to which Nunez credits will transfer via a 2+2 plan.
Christian LaGarde, Department Chair for Business and Office Careers, explicated plans for Nunez’s C-Street (Commercial Street)--a state-of-the -art facility which will consist of a Culinary Center; Hospitality Institute; and, an Entrepreneurship Incubator. C-Street will serve as a collaborative learning space for students and community entrepreneurs.
Nunez Community College Chancellor Thomas R. Warner addressed Secretary of Labor Solis and the guests, saying that "the grant is a terrific opportunity to build our workforce and improve the lives of our community.” In her remarks, Secretary Solis congratulated Nunez on its competitiveness, and emphasized community colleges’ ability to be adaptable, flexible, and affordable in quickly getting skilled, credentialed people into the workforce.
The grants are designed to foster partnerships between community colleges and local employers to promote skills development and employment opportunities in advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, science, technology, engineering and math occupations.