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"Delta Compact Initiative"

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The unemployment rate is high throughout most of the country, but in the Delta Community it's higher.

The unemployment in East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas Parishes doubles that of the whole state of Louisiana.

Jack Bartley is finishing up his first year at Delta Community College, and he says when he got out of the military he held many different jobs, but they weren't enough.

Bartley says, "one of the thing I seen was you can make it but it's not something it's going to be on the low end when it comes to income."

He was like a lot of people in the Delta Community who are unemployed or working low income jobs.

Bartley says, "most of Americans are coming from low income families, most of the low income families teach their children what they know, and without continuing their education others can't prosper because they aren't guided and know the way to actually better themselves."

High unemployment rates is why Delta Community College is calling on local leaders to help rebuild Delta's middle class.

Delta Community College, Interim Chancellor, Dr. Jerry Ryan says, "East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas are the three poorest municipalities in the United States."

That is why Delta Community College is trying to rebuild Delta's middle class by the "Delta Compact Initiative"

Dr. Ryan says, "we need to address these issues we need to have more people graduate from high, have more of them go to college, and we have to have more adults get GEDs."

Bartley says opportunities like this help him provide a better future for his family.

He says, "I have three children, two daughters that are actually with me, I feel like, unlike a lot of individuals, I feel like I should set the standard and if I continue my education then maybe later on they will do the same."

Bartley says he would encourage anyone going through what he was to get informed because there are programs to help.

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