The City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB), the GE Foundation and Delgado Community College recognized the first graduates to complete a new Career Pathways technical training program at a July 27 graduation ceremony in the Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery at the Delgado City Park Campus.
The graduates and their families were welcomed to the event by Delgado Chancellor Joan Davis and by Ashleigh Gardere, senior advisor to the mayor and director of the Network for Economic Opportunity.
Larissa Littleton-Steib, vice chancellor of Workforce Development and Technical Education for Delgado Community College, congratulated the graduates on completion of their course of study, which prepares them for jobs with the New Orleans S&WB.
Cedric Grant, executive director of the New Orleans S&WB, was the keynote speaker. He praised the graduates and expressed his appreciation for the financial support from the GE Foundation that made the program possible.
The GE Foundation made a grant of $1.5 million to Delgado Community College in October 2014 to establish the S&WB Career Pathways technical training program. The grant supports Delgado Community College’s ongoing efforts to train certified water infrastructure personnel to work at the S&WB.
"It is a great honor to salute and congratulate the women and men graduating today,” said Deborah A. Elam, president of the GE Foundation and chief diversity officer for GE. “When we launched this grant a few short years ago, this day was just a goal. Now it is a reality. Thank you, graduates and faculty, for your persistence and commitment. It is a proud moment for you, for our community, the Sewerage and Water Board and GE,” Elam said.
Michael Ruffin, project manager for the Network for Economic Opportunity, remarked to those assembled at the ceremony that they were gathered inside the building where the school that became Delgado Community College first opened its doors to students in the fall of 1921. “Mr. Isaac Delgado established this school 95 years ago to prepare students for jobs, and it is good to see that that original mission of job-related education is still alive and well at Delgado Community College,” Ruffin said.
Receiving their certificates of completion at the event were: ChaVondah Bland, Chad Bourgeois, Cornelius Brooks, Wardell Carter, Nole DeBose Jr., Cory Garcia, Mark Glenn, Jack Gordon, Damien Harris, Jeffery Harvey, Johnathan Kagler, Jerome Myles, Justin Smith and Millicent Videau.
S&WB Career Pathways technical training program graduates with Delgado and City officials