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State accepting public comments on plans to fund Recovery Workforce Facilities program

Nov. 27, 2013

BATON ROUGE - The State of Louisiana is accepting public comments on two Action Plan Amendments that will transfer funds from other programs into a newly created Recovery Workforce Facilities program.

The proposed $13.9 million program would allow for the development of a facility that will house workforce training programs implemented by Southwest Louisiana (SOWELA) Technical Community College in Lake Charles.

“Ongoing recovery in the storm-impacted areas of our state is creating demand for a new workforce,” said Pat Forbes, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development. “This proposed facility will have state-of-the-art equipment to train job seekers in industrial technology, making Louisiana citizens more marketable to new and expanding businesses.”

Action Plan Amendment 62 would transfer $2.6 million from the first appropriation of Community Development Block Grant funds provided to the State of Louisiana by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Action Plan Amendment 24 from the second HUD appropriation would transfer $11.3 million, providing a total of $13.9 million for the new workforce training facility.

In APA 62, $911,682 is being transferred from the following completed programs: Recovery Workforce Training, Louisiana Tourism Marketing, Research Commercialization and Educational Enhancement, and Support for Faith-Based and Community-Based Housing Recovery. Nearly $1.1 million is coming from the Fisheries Infrastructure and Assistance program, which has sufficient funding for the currently obligated projects, and $588,000 is coming from the portion of the Innovation Loan and Technical Assistance program’s activities that already have closed out.

APA 24 moves $11,325,934 from the Small Rental Property program, after a recent decrease in applicant award obligations made funds available for other recovery investments.

Public Comments
The state is accepting public comments on the two Action Plan Amendments beginning today. The Action Plan Amendments can be found at APA 62 and APA 24.

The formal public comment period for the plans begins today, Nov. 27, 2013 and runs until Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at 5 p.m. After accepting public comments, the state will submit the plans to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for final federal approval.

Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting and opening Action Plan Amendments 62 or 24. A copy of the plans can be requested by calling (225) 219-9600.

Members of the public can submit comments several ways:

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer, stronger and smarter than before.