NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A unique partnership of business and community leaders has come together to provide training opportunities in high-demand fields.

The project serves ages 16 and older, and even the formerly incarcerated.

Mark Jackson is one of the students studying to get his Commercial Drivers License as part of the Orleans Career Project.

According to Jackson, “My goal is to get in the trucking business, start my own business, and learn from it.”

Coordinator of the program, retired Judge Arthur Hunter, explained the concept, “The Orleans Career Project is the result of business, education, and criminal justice coming together to do four things, at least four things. Diversify our economy, reduce crime, attract investment, and on a personal level, elevate that person from simply having a job to having a career.”

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and I know it’s going to generate income for me to be able to create income for me to do bigger things and better things for me and my family,” said student Kyevand Hall.

There are a variety of tracks students can pursue says Vice Chancellor Arlanda Williams, “So we’re looking at CDL, welding, machining and all of the allied health forces.”

Delgado already boasts a robust workforce development training program, but the Orleans Career Project is designed to get residents working sooner than later- even the formerly incarcerated.

“The upside is that we have more of the wraparound services there. So we are actually doing a grassroots opportunity for those that may have found themselves in a bad way,” said Williams.

You can get more information on the Orleans Career Project at the Delgado Community College website.

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