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LSU Eunice Awarded $230,000 Workforce Grant

LSU Eunice was awarded $230,000 by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) for its Workforce Training Rapid Response Grant initiative.

The grant funds will purchase fire service training equipment, and a firefighting pumping apparatus. The proposed purple and black mini-pumper is the first of its kind in the 30-plus year history of LSU Eunice fire service academic program.

"Everyone is excited about the acquisition of the fire apparatus," said Steve Gervais, LSU Eunice's Fire and Emergency Services program director. "It will be a welcomed addition to the university and to the community."

Working in partnership with the Louisiana State University Fire and Emergency Training Institute and the Calcasieu Parish School System, LSU Eunice proposes to establish a high school fire service academy pilot program at the Lake Charles-Boston High School's Academy of Learning.

The pilot program will be part of Louisiana's Early Start Program that grants students the option to take career oriented coursework in high school. As juniors, the students will have the opportunity to earn high-school credit, college credit, and fire and emergency service certificates.

Gervais anticipates 15 Calcasieu Parish students will apply for this program in the fall of 2011.

Project goals outlined in the proposal include, promoting the development of the fire and emergency services workforce throughout the State of Louisiana through promotion of dual enrollment and course content aligned with the model fire science curriculum of the U.S. Fire Administration, and establishing a Fire and Emergency Services Career Academy that will serve as a model for similar academies in high schools throughout the State.

The University was chosen this year from a pool of 33 grant proposals, seeking over $15.8 Million in funds provided by the Legislature of Louisiana LSU Eunice's grant is recognized as a 'Priority One and Priority Two' initiative. These projects were ranked according to quality of grant and impact of training offered.

LSU Eunice's fire and emergency services program offers an associate degree with concentrations in fire service technology, emergency services technology, and safety and environmental compliance technology. The program offers several technical studies certificates and diplomas as well. In the fall of 2011, the Fire and Emergency services program will be available as a complete online degree program through the Board of Regents' Center for Adult Learners in Louisiana program.