Louisiana’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, expects hundreds of people to turn out for an information fair Saturday in Shreveport. Organizers aim to help people better understand their options in the federal healthcare marketplace, according to James Bustillo, regional marketing director for Blue Cross. Dozens of Blue Cross staff will work the event, Bustillo says, and are qualified to answer questions about available subsidies and insurance plans.
Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada will begin accepting grant applications later this month in the second year of its charitable fund earmarked for East Texas organizations.
TransCanada’s $125,000 fund is donor-advised and administered through the East Texas Communities Foundation in Tyler. Foundation program officer Mary Lynn Smith said organizations in 18 East Texas counties are eligible for the grants.
“It’s all the counties that are touched by the pipeline, where the pipeline traverses their county,” Smith said.
This rendering of a park pavilion on Lake Naconiche will be built by the Timber Framers Guild during a nine-day workshop in March.
Credit Timber Framers Guild
The Timber Framers Guild, based in Becket, Massachusetts, will build a park pavilion in Nacogdoches in March as part of an intensive workshop led by four master craftsmen. The Guild represents this age-old construction technique of building structures with joined timbers. Unlike modern carpentry, it does not rely on high-tech power tools to get the job done.
Nacogdoches timber framer Tim Chauvin said this hands-on workshop will attract students and apprentices from all over the country. For some, it’ll be a world away from their day job.
University of Louisiana System president Sandra Woodley is promoting a plan to address workforce challenges in Louisiana.
Credit UL System
When the Louisiana Legislature convenes next month it will consider whether to fund a $40 million plan to create a pot of money that the state’s colleges and universities can compete over. Penned by higher education system leaders, the so-called WISE (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy) plan is meant to help remedy niche labor shortages in the state.
Southern Arkansas University president David Rankin speaks with Sen. Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia, at the district meeting of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Credit Aaron Street
Southern Arkansas University can move ahead in starting a new bachelor’s degree in general engineering in the fall semester. The school in Magnolia got the go-ahead for the degree Friday from the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. SAU president David Rankin said there are already more than 20 students who plan to enroll, and local industry helped SAU make a strong case for the value of these graduates.