Governor Bobby Jindal highlighted the groundbreaking of a new facility at Fletcher Technical Community College Tuesday to train offshore oil and gas workers. The new BP Integrated Production Technologies (IPT) facility will be located next to BP's Houma Operations Learning Center, and will include a 4,000 square foot state-of-the-art training laboratory, classrooms and offices for the oil and gas program.
The total cost of the project is $8 million and includes the building, designer fees, surveying and other construction details. The $5.2 million building is being funded in part through a $4 million donation made by BP to the Fletcher Foundation.
The donation is being matched by the state, and a cash line of credit for the match was approved by the Louisiana State Bond Commission. The property for the building was acquired through a $2.7 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) committed by the Jindal Administration in 2009.
Governor Jindal said, "When I took office, we made a commitment to improve the campuses and learning environment for students because we know the community and technical college system is a critical pipeline for ensuring that we have skilled workers in Louisiana. The four million dollars we've committed to this oil and gas worker training facility is evidence that we're keeping that commitment. Louisiana is a world leader in energy production -- which is why this new facility is so important. Our state powers our nation's economy, and this industry provides great career opportunities for our people. This new facility will give Louisianians the skills they need to find good-paying jobs with energy companies so we can continue to move our economy forward. We're also proud of this investment because it will help conduct research needed to ensure the oil and gas industry practices safe operations. We still have a long way to go until our coast and our state are fully recovered from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but projects such as this are examples of what can be accomplished if we work together."
Since 2008, the Jindal administration has supported more than $700 million in critical higher education infrastructure investments across the state, including more than $225 million for Louisiana Community and Technical College campuses. In addition to the new IPT facility, Governor Jindal has supported $21.3 million in financing for the construction and development of Fletcher's new campus.