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U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu announced two public-private partnerships Monday that will enhance security and disaster preparedness and will contribute to the safety of workers in the offshore, petrochemical and other marine industries.

Landrieu serves on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and is chair of its Subcommittee on Homeland Security. She has been a leading voice in Washington, D.C., for the Gulf Coast recovery following a recent series of hurricanes. She has also made disaster preparedness and recovery a priority.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the common denominator in both partnerships.

On Monday, Landrieu called the University “a powerful economic engine for the Acadiana area and the entire state.” The public-private partnerships, she said, will help assist the nation’s economic recovery.

“We need a trained, ready and willing workforce so Louisiana can move ahead and help the nation in its economic recovery,” Landrieu said.

The University’s National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute (NIMSAT) has joined with Safety Management Systems to provide all-hazards emergency preparedness training. SMS is a division of Acadian Companies, and one of the largest providers of health, safety, medical, and security services for the energy industry.

NIMSAT and SMS will provide education and training on disaster preparedness to public and private sectors. The program will feature Incident Command Structure training courses, which are required by public sector officials, and also courses taken by the oil and gas, fertilizer, and other corporate industries. In addition, SMS will provide site-specific disaster response consulting.

The University’s Marine Survival Training Center has joined forces with American Pollution Control and The Response Group to provide world-class training on oil spill management. AMPOL and TRG are considered leaders in oil spill response. Both companies played a major role in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis of 2010.

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, interim vice president of Research at the University, said the education and training offered as a result of these partnerships will draw people from across the globe.

“This partnership will help agencies and companies be better prepared to prevent or minimize the loss of life in future disasters,” he said.

“It is our goal to be recognized as a national center for public-private preparedness, and also to offer professional certificates, continuing education credits and academic credit for anyone who wants to advance his or her career,” he said.

UL Lafayette’s MSTC will provide classrooms and training facilities, while the companies will provide equipment and industry expertise. Since it was created in 1988, the MSTC has trained more than 75,000 offshore workers in water safety and survival techniques. It is located on a 60-acre site adjacent to Lafayette Regional Airport.