McNeese launches effort to raise $1M for education initiative

Burckel: Campaign vision is to make MSU first choice for professors, students, donors, employers

McNeese State University on Thursday announced the launch of its First Choice campaign in the presence of Gov. John Bel Edwards and Waste Management leaders, who donated $60,000 to the campaign.

First Choice is a three-year initiative to raise $1 million for “sustained growth and self-sufficiency,” said Daryl Burckel, university president. The idea is to make McNeese the area’s first choice for professors, students, employers and donors, Burckel said.

He noted the school was ranked among the “Best Regional Universities in the South” by U.S. News and World Report and that it offers celebrated engineering, business, education and agriculture programs.

Waste Management CEO Jim Fish said McNeese is “a school we’re so proud to be associated with.”

In addition to its investment in McNeese, Fish said, Waste Management is making a $30 million investment in Southwest Louisiana, including a new thermal desorption unit in Carlyss.

The unit, which uses heat to remove organic contaminants from materials, will bring 40 jobs to the area, Fish said. It’s scheduled to open for commercial processing later this year.

Edwards commended the partnership between McNeese and Waste Management.

“We want to salute Southwest Louisiana for its amount of growth and its commitment to education,” he said. “Those two things go together. Education and economics go hand in hand.”

Edwards said businesses and investors worry less about taxes than they do the availability of skilled workers. He said Southwest Louisiana is leading the way in meeting the demand for both jobs and skilled laborers.

‘We want to salute Southwest Louisiana for its amount of growth and its commitment to education.’

Gov. John Bel Edwards

””

Left to right: Daryl Burckel, university president, Governor John Bel Edwards and Jim Fish, CEO of Waste Management

Special to the American Press

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