VILLE PLATTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING
AUGUST 27, 2014
The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce today (Wednesday) heard from Dr. Natalie Harder, Chancellor of the South Louisiana Community College System. She told chamber members that enrollment figures at the local Coreil campus are down slightly from last year. However two positive statistics show that students had more credit hours and had more financial aid than in the past.
SLCC is listening to employers and industry and they’re saying they want students with technical degrees that are transferrable to a regular four year university, according to Dr. Harder. The Ville Platte Coreil campus will be offering three new business courses this fall: general business, business management and accounting. Harder also informed the chamber that the Coreil campus has just added a second welding instructor that will be instructing 19 students. Due to a major cut in funding, the staff was reduced from 14-11 for this fall. Coreil campus is currently searching for the following to hire: a full time English instructor, a full time Math Instructor and an adjunct instructor for Business and Accounting.
Administrator Carlene Jones said there will be no Certified Nursing Assistant program this Fall because students could not afford to pay the course fees. She said financial aid will not pay these course fees.
State Representative Bernard LeBas along with Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel both commented that the school needs to work closely with industry , nursing homes, hospitals and the chamber to see if funds could be found to keep the C.N.A. program alive.
LeBas said he was concerned over the fewer number of students enrolled at Coreil and the fewer courses being offered.
In other business, the chamber of commerce:
--received a report from Dr. William “Tojo” Ward, who is charge of the Evangeline Parish Industrial Development Board. Dr. Ward said there is a firm that visited the Industrial Park that is considering moving their operation. The firm also is visiting certified industrial sites in Bunkie and Alexandria.
--heard from Chamber Executive Director Camille Fontenot that the recent political rally was a success bring in $1300. There were 12 political candidates that participated;
--received a report that the “Dirt Cheap” store will be opening at the old Walmart location on Opelousas road sometime next month. The store will be selling overstocked items of clothing, furniture and other merchandise. They will be hiring up to 20 employees;
--also heard from Suzy Lemoine that the Ville Platte Library branch will be closing September 4 to begin the big move to the new library facility. The grand opening at the new location is set for Sept. 26 from 9-11am and a fun day for the children Sept.27. All past library employees will be invited to attend the grand opening.