Next 25 receives $100K boost

Published 11:45 pm Friday, May 30, 2014

By Monique Roth

CONVENT — A non-profit organization designed to connect St. James Parish residents seeking skilled occupations with St. James Parish businesses and industries offering those jobs got a boost this week with a sizable donation.

The Next 25 was founded in 2013 by local business leaders concerned about matching the community workforce with job opportunities in St James Parish. The mission of the group is to provide financial, educational and mentoring aid to local residents and to assist them in their desire to work for community businesses. Activities of the group include assisting the local workforce in obtaining skill levels needed to meet the expanding jobs demand of local business and industry, as well as developing an outreach program aimed at local students in grades eighth and up looking to enter the local workforce at graduation.

This week Archer Daniels Midland Company presented a $100,000 check to the board of The Next 25 Inc. during a recognition ceremony Tuesday in Convent. ADM’s check represents the largest donation received by the non–profit organization thus far.

Jason Porter, general manager of Gulf Operations for American River Transportation Company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADM that controls ADM’s river operations, made the presentation on behalf of ADM.

“ADM strives to make a positive difference in the communities where we live and work and we have had a strong presence in St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes for many years,” Porter said.

“We have a great respect for the workforce in the River Parishes and realize that it is good business to invest in the future workforce to assure they are job ready. This is a vibrant area for growth, and we are proud to be a part of the growth.”

The Next 25 board member and St. James Parish economic development consultant Steve Nosacka said the donation this week “and those from our other valued contributors will serve to reduce the financial barriers to better jobs, better lives, better families and a better community, which will affect generations to come.”

“This generous contribution from ADM is truly an investment in the lives and families of St. James Parish,” Nosacka said.

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said, “ADM is a wonderful asset to our growing community. As a resident and the Parish President, I would like to personally thank ADM for their generous contribution to The Next 25.”

The Next 25 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. For more information, contact Emily Melancon at