BATON ROUGE, LA. - Today, Governor John Bel Edwards and officials of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System unveiled an innovative program to help small construction companies build a solid foundation for business growth and success. The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute will assist small and emerging construction companies in learning the basics of the industry and preparing for the state's licensing exam. Partners making the program possible are Louisiana Economic Development, LCTCS and the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Via a six-week course to be offered throughout the state, the institute will offer critical information about construction management and how to prepare for the General Contractors State Licensing Exam. The course is open to construction-based Louisiana businesses and anyone with an interest in starting one. "We are committed to supporting small businesses in Louisiana," Governor Edwards said. "This program is designed to help new and emerging businesses get in on the ground floor of Louisiana's growing construction industry. If we can get more small contracting companies involved in our economy - creating jobs and doing good work and paying taxes - that will be wonderful for our state." "This partnership will have a huge impact on the Louisiana economy by providing small businesses with instructional resources, foundational support and access to industry best practices," LCTCS President Monty Sullivan said. "The institute will provide an opportunity for more local small businesses to compete and excel right here at home." Last month, Governor Edwards, the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority and the Louisiana Surety Association unveiled the Bonding Assistance Program, another tool for small construction companies to gain greater access to major construction projects. The Bonding Assistance Program aids small construction companies in obtaining bid, payment and performance bonds needed to obtain work on substantial building projects. Contractors that are certified clients of LED's Small and Emerging Business Development Program are eligible for the Bonding Assistance Program, which was made possible by a low-interest loan from the LPFA. "The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute provides vital information for Louisiana's small and emerging construction businesses," LED Secretary Don Pierson said. "This program will open the door for new businesses primed to participate in Louisiana's growing construction industry and further prepares those companies looking to take advantage of LED's Bonding Assistance Program." The six-week course will be offered Oct. 3 to Nov. 9. It will feature two-hour evening sessions twice a week. The course will be offered via interactive distance learning to multiple locations throughout Louisiana, including:
- Bossier Parish Community College, Bossier City campus.
- Louisiana Delta Community College, campus location to be announced.
- River Parishes Community College, Gonzales campus.
- Delgado Community College, New Orleans City Park campus.
- South Central Louisiana Technical College, Reserve campus.
- Fletcher Technical Community College, Schriever campus.
- SOWELA Technical Community College, Lake Charles campus.
- South Louisiana Community College, Lafayette campus.
- Central Louisiana Technical Community College, Alexandria campus.
- Northshore Technical Community College, St. Tammany Center, Mandeville.
- Baton Rouge Community College, Baton Rouge.
The course will be taught by industry leaders. Session topics will include:
- Bid process
- Contract management
- Equipment management
- Occupational safety
- Risk management
- Financial and business management
- Bonding and access to capital
- Certifications and available resources
- Entrepreneurship training
Classes can be tailored in different parts of the state to include specialized information, such as working in the energy sector or working with coastal restoration. Enrollment in the six-week program is available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a $200 fee for the course and materials. For more information and a link to registration, visit www.OpportunityLouisiana.com/LCAI. Additionally, information on LED's Bonding Assistance Program may be found at www.OpportunityLouisiana.com/BAP.