News Release > Entergy providing $1M to help jumpstart LCTCS implementation of MJ Foster Promise Program
Entergy providing $1M to help jumpstart LCTCS implementation of MJ Foster Promise Program
Program will help Louisiana residents attend college and receive training for high-demand jobs
BATON ROUGE – Entergy Louisiana is committed to helping develop the workforce of the future by supporting education initiatives that tap into the rich diversity of the communities it serves.
The company announced today that it will provide $1 million over three years to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Foundation to help jumpstart the MJ Foster Promise Program, a financial aid program funded by the State of Louisiana that will help qualifying residents attend two-year colleges or approved proprietary schools and receive training for high-demand jobs in growing sectors.
Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May was joined during the announcement by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez, Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter-Reed, LCTCS President Monty Sullivan, and LCTCS Director of Advancement Tarie Roberson. The group discussed how the MJ Foster Promise Program was developed, supporting legislation and what the program solves.
According to LCTCS, tens of thousands more adults will need to earn credentials beyond high school to fill jobs in Louisiana over the next decade. The MJ Foster Promise Program, a new $10.5 million state fund, was created to address that need by providing financial assistance to low-income residents who are 21 years or older and seek credentials required for employment in workforce areas like construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and transportation and logistics.
“Over the last six years we have made higher education and workforce development a top priority with record investments spanning faculty pay increases to facility improvements to the creation and passage of the MJ Foster Promise Program,” said Edwards. “This promise program will help remove the financial barriers for our adult citizens to access the life changing training and career preparation that occurs at our community and technical colleges. Today’s announcement is yet another example of public-private partnerships that works for the people of Louisiana and the state’s economy, and thank you to Entergy for its generous contribution to this vitally important initiative.”
Nearly 24% of Louisiana residents, LCTCS says, hold a high school diploma or less, and receiving training opportunities offered at the state’s community and technical colleges could create a better quality of life for them and their families.
“We have extensively researched the educational attainment of working age adults in Louisiana, and the data is clear that we must invest in, support, and develop the 1.1 million adults who lack the skills to participate in state’s evolving economy, and the Foster Promise Program is the initial long-term strategy to upskill our people,” said Sullivan. “We are grateful to the leadership of the legislature and Governor Edwards for their continued support of workforce development. Coupled with this generous investment from Entergy we will continue working statewide to improve the student experience and growing the pool of qualified and skilled adults.
Entergy’s multi-year contribution will help LCTCS roll out the MJ Foster Promise Program by funding efforts to:
- Reach qualifying residents and encourage them to take advantage of the program
- Enhance student support services as well as the onboarding process
- Improve infrastructure supporting enrollment and connecting students with social services
- Supplement training equipment
“Education is critical to providing opportunities and a better quality of life for our communities,” May said. “That’s why we’re so proud to support LCTCS’ implementation of the MJ Foster Promise Program. Good things happen when we all prosper, when we all succeed, and with the right support, I believe that is exactly what this program can accomplish.”
He added, “This is another example of local, state and private partnerships at work to create a brighter future for Louisiana. We look forward to seeing many more in our communities enter the workforce and take advantage of available quality jobs in Louisiana.”
About Entergy Louisiana
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers in 58 parishes and natural gas service to more than 94,000 customers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Entergy Louisiana is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production, transmission and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and approximately 12,500 employees.
About Louisiana Community and Technical College System Foundation
The LCTCS Foundation leads and inspires private support for Louisiana's community and technical colleges to ensure excellence in meeting the educational and workforce needs of students, businesses and communities. Our work ensures that Louisiana provides pathways to prosperity for its citizens and attracts business and industry because of its high-quality workforce. Our diverse initiatives have maintained one key theme: providing greater access to excellent higher education options for all of our citizens.