Administrators from Northwestern State University and Central Louisiana Technical Community College signed an agreement Wednesday that will allow students who earn the Certificate for Manufacturing (C4M) at CLTCC to apply the certification to seven hours of credit in NSU’s engineering technology baccalaureate degree program.
“We are at a pivotal time in Louisiana with $100-200 billion in industrial expansion that has the potential to revolutionize our economy for generations to come, but it is dependent on our ability to develop talent,” said NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.
“We put the mission of business and industry out front and agree to meet at that mission,” said CLTCC Chancellor Jimmy Sawtelle. “If you complete the C4M, you complete one quarter of a degree from CLTCC and several hours of credit towards a degree at NSU. We’re looking forward to doing more. We want to bring to Cenla what people have not seen before.”
In tandem with the signing, which took place at RoyOMartin, L.L.C., in Alexandria, RoyOMartin President and CFO Roy O. Martin III announced the intention to sponsor 25 individuals to participate in the company’s 16-week GED tutoring program in which C4M will be a component.
C4M is an industry-based certification piloted at CLTCC that is tailored to reflect industry needs and create a map for individuals interested in pursuing more advanced credentials. Mark Henton, dean of Technical Programs at CLTCC, said C4M provides an introduction to manufacturing, tools and equipment, automation and fabrication, process technology and machining.
“C4M is similar to the time when everyone was pushed to become computer literate. C4M allows individuals to become manufacturing literate. It introduces the student to a career and allows them to look at different facets of manufacturing,” Henton said. “We see the potential for a lot of partnerships like this.”
Dr. Ali Ahmad, director of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, thanked Henton for this role in developing the agreement, as well as industry partners.
“What is unusual is the eagerness for cooperation. There are agreements and discussions between the university, the community colleges and industry,” Ahmad said.
Northwestern State has several agreements in place with CLTCC that help students and faculty reach their educational goals. Last week, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved a collaboration between the schools in which NSU will offer an associate degree in engineering technology that will move to CLTCC when the community college completes accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Martin, who serves on the Louisiana Board of Regents and whose company has 1,100 employees, said his company values people and is willing to invest in individuals who are inadequately educated but want to go to work. His goal is to help 25 individuals pass the bronze level WorkKeys job skills assessment, obtain their GED and move forward.
“In the last few years, our universities have worked to transform so students get skills to meeting the jobs that Louisiana is going to have,” Martin said.