DENHAM SPRINGS – Construction of Northshore Technical Community College’s (NTCC) campus in Walker is on schedule and should open in August, according to the acting chancellor.

Dr. Daniel Roberts offered that update, and information on what NTCC will offer, in an address Wednesday at the annual Education in Livingston Parish event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Three programs will be offered on the Walker campus in its first year, Roberts said, electrician, welding, and practical nurse.

The nursing program will not start until January 2020 since it is now going through state review, said Roberts, who has served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at NTCC.

The community college also will continue to offer courses like those it teaches at the Literacy & Technology Center, whose campus sits next what will be the sixth campus of the NTCC system, he said.

The interim dean of the Walker campus will be Kristen Bell, Roberts said.

Bell is a math and science instructor for NTCC. She earned her bachelor’s degree at LSU and master’s in business at Southeastern Louisiana University.

The Livingston Economic Development Council also will be moving on campus, Roberts said.

NTCC’s mission is to offer courses that will lead to workforce opportunities for students or the transfer of those course to other institutions to continue their education, he said.

A new program for NTCC is the Megatronics Apprenticeship Program, a two-year program that has a student alternate working in an industry for 8 weeks and attending class for 8 weeks.

The employer pays tuition fees, while the student is paid $10 an hour with benefits, according to Roberts’ information.

The program combines instruction in electrical and mechanical systems, electronics, robots and control systems.

The program provides graduates with megatronics certification and industry-based credentials.

Chamber CEO/President April Wehrs said when the planning began for the Walker campus, the Chamber was invited to play a part. They invited industry and smaller businesses to talk about their needs,” to decide what courses would be offered, she said.

“Business is struggling to find good, qualified employees,” Wehrs said, and the community college will play a role in providing that to local businesses."

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