St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

St. John Business Training Center Opens at Technical College in Reserve

St. John Business Training Center Opens at Technical College in Reserve

Thursday, August 22, 2013

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH - The St. John the Baptist Parish Economic SJBP Business Training Center Development Department celebrated the opening of its new Business Training Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. Parish President Natalie Robottom, St. John Parish Economic Development Director Torri Buckles, and Parish Council Member Cheryl Millet were joined by representatives from BTC Ribbon Cutting Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC), South Central Louisiana (SCL) Technical College - River Parishes Campus Administrator Cindy Poskey and a host of other business leaders and community members.

Through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with Louisiana Economic Development, LSBDC, and SCL Technical College - River Parish Campus, the Business Training Center will offer technical assistance training to small businesses in St. John through the Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) program. "I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this collaborative effort and the transformation of this space. This partnership supports our objectives of the creation and retention of jobs, increased access to capital for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and improvements in the small business survival rate in the Parish," said Parish President Natalie Robottom.

The LSBDC will staff the center and offer one-on-one consulting, training, seminars, and monthly workshops. FastTrac courses, an entrepreneurial training course developed by The Kauffman Foundation, will be offered through the center to businesses.

Funding for the program was allocated through both the St. John Economic Development budget and the SEBD program through LED. The site was acquired at no cost through an agreement with the Technical College. "It's a great day for our small business owners and entrepreneurs in this parish and region. We need to make sure that we provide our small businesses with the adequate resources they need to flourish and have a competitive advantage in today's world. We are starting here with a small footprint, but a footprint that we hope will grow bigger than this room and bigger than this parish," said John Matthews with Louisiana Economic Development.

All renovations of the St. John the Baptist Parish Small Business Training Center were completed by local businesses including Fauntleroy Latham Weldon Barre Architects of LaPlace, Veterans Construction of LaPlace, and Cool Concepts of Reserve. "I am excited for this opportunity and to see the collaboration come together. We put in a lot of hard work to make the center a first class center as we want our small businesses to feel welcome and inspired when they come here. We have also researched what the businesses in this parish need and learned what is instrumental to them so that we can provide that here at the Business Training Center," said Economic Development Director, Torri Buckles.

The ribbon cutting ceremony ended with a small reception for all participants to tour the center and network with all agencies sponsoring the Business Training Center.

The Business Training center is located at the South Central Louisiana Technical College - River Parishes Campus, 181 REGALA Park Rd. in Reserve and is open Monday Wednesday Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Training seminars are held on selected Wednesdays from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Please call 985-479-1247 or email for more information or to schedule an appointment.