The Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition created a new endowment at South Louisiana Community College to recruit and retain exemplary instructors in the college’s oil and gas programs.

The $60,000 investment will enable SLCC to seek a state match of $40,000 from the Louisiana Board of Regents’ endowed professorship program to bring the total endowment to $100,000.

“This allows for the donation to have an impact over a longer period of time than if it were spent all at once,” Lana Fontenot, executive director of the SLCC Foundation, said in a news release.

The donation is part of the LAGCOE Education Fund, a fund at Community Foundation of Acadiana.

“LAGCOE is thrilled to continue our support of the oil and gas industry through the establishment of this endowed professorship at SLCC. Even in difficult times a qualified, well-trained workforce is critical to long-term industry success,” Angela Cring, executive director of LAGCOE, said in the news release. “We are grateful to the industry companies and volunteers who support the LAGCOE Education Fund through participation and sponsorship of events such as the LAGCOE Sporting Clays Tournament hosted by the Young Professionals of LAGCOE (YPL) as well as those who work tirelessly to put on and exhibit in the LAGCOE show every other year.”

The college offers seven programs that enroll more than 300 students each semester to meet the demands of the oil and gas industry for highly skilled graduates. The college plans to offer a technical diploma in oil and gas production at its New Iberia campus in the fall.

“Our college offers programs that are direct to the local oil and gas industry, and the increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop hands-on skills and knowledge that will prepare them to continue moving the oil and gas industry forward,” SLCC Chancellor Natalie Harder said in the release.