St. Mary's Parish

Workforce Success Driven by Businesses

No trained workforce! No businesses retained or new businesses attracted.
St. Mary Parish draws upon a regional workforce of over 400,000 workers. It is the partnership between Louisiana’s nationally acclaimed “Fast Start” program and the Corporate College Division of South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) system that continuously provides a flow of trained workers to the large driver companies and the numerous smaller supply chain businesses.

FastStart provides customized employee recruitment, screening, training development and training delivery for new and expanding companies ALL AT NO COST. FastStart (FS) crafts unique programs that ensure high quality, flexible workers that are prepared on day one. The FS team is made up of dozens of dedicated professionals with extensive industry specific experience. They deliver top notch training in quality, leadership, lean manufacturing in a wide variety of industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, digital media and pharmaceuticals. The company is the customer and receives training specific to his needs, not a one size fits all. The State and St. Mary Parish offer the one/two punch approach for industry and worker development; FastStart and South Louisiana Corporate College.

At the Corporate College innovative training basic skills are provided. In St. Mary Parish there are 2 (two) campuses in Morgan City that provide training. The main campus offers many of the basics; metal working (welding, machining, pipe fitting), construction management, process technology, electronics, robotics and HVAC. This campus also provides business administration and several health care options. The Marine Campus offers a state-of-the-art commercial diving program that is recognized internationally. They have more than 30 Coastguard Certifications for Marine Safety and a $1 million simulator for Captain and Mate training, navigating waterways worldwide in a variety of vessels and weather conditions.

What is unique about the SLCC programs? The fact is that these programs are training programs driven by the local businesses in partnership with the dynamic duo of FastStart and SLCC. These companies help develop the curriculum to meet their needs, provide equipment and consumables and part time instructors. This training is what they need and not a bunch of “take it or leave” it training packages.

A great example is the beginning course in machining, both CNC and mechanical equipment machinists were in demand. SLCC and machinists from a number of large and small shops met and developed a fundamentals of machining course. The Machine Tool Technology program is a 12 week, 400-clock hour program that provides workers with the basics of machining on mechanical and CNC machines (donated by local companies). Instructions were provided on hand tools, measuring tools and instruments, blueprint understanding, math and construction, lathes, milling and CNC equipment and most importantly on safety. These numerous machine shops support fabricators in the Parish and nationally with both large structures and small-scale high production parts.

SLCC has provided training to the Maritime industry since the 1950’s. Seventy years later the college remains a leader in providing customization and technology applications to meet the needs in the marine and petroleum industries. The Marine Operations Program provides specialized Coast Guard instruction to obtain a variety of certifications documents, licenses and endorsements issued by USCG, Medic First Aid and PEC Safety. Today students demand flexibility in their schedules to accommodate their job needs. No problem! The college has taken training to online, blended and traditional modalities. The blended program allows the student to do a portion of their course work off-site and evaluations are accomplished through written and practical assessments. The culture of the college is to meet industry needs while considering the needs of the students.

The workforce strategy “Ready for Work Now” is designed to accommodate customization to meet industry needs – strong customer focus combined with student consideration. This strategy will have an impact on the parish long term, but the oil service companies, fabricators, shipyards and process industries will continue to be the economic drivers. The message remains,

Diversification, bringing new businesses into the parish, may dampen the swings in the local economic cycle and expand growth opportunities. St. Mary Parish offers a well-trained workforce, ready for work on day one, to these companies.

Frank G. Fink
Director of Economic Development

500 Main Street, 5th Floor Franklin, LA 70538

(+1) 337.828.4100 ext. 540

(+1) 985.518.5885 ext. 542