BATON ROUGE – This month, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System hosted the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Workforce Opportunity and Readiness Task Force. The task force, formed during the 2022 legislative session, is comprised of state education leaders, elected officials, and business and industry representatives charged with studying workforce readiness programs and activities in the state's public schools.
Over the next 18 months, the task force will identify successful practices and develop recommendations for promoting successful career and technical education programs across Louisiana.
“We have seen incredible success in workforce training programs in certain areas, and that’s something to be proud of,” said LCTCS President Dr. Monty Sullivan. “Our challenge for the task force is to find a way to scale that success on behalf of all Louisiana’s people.”
The task force was brought to life by House Concurrent Resolution 81, authored by Representative Buddy Mincey, District 71. The resolution was developed as a direct result of Representative Mincey hosting multiple industry and legislative tours to showcase Walker High School’s exceptional CTE (Career & Technical Education) programs.
“In order for Louisiana to be competitive with surrounding states, we must do our best to develop educational programs that engage and motivate our students outside of traditional programs,” said Representative Mincey. “Our economy needs a trained workforce, who can meet high demand occupations that will provide long-term foundational support for a robust and growing economy.”
The task force will submit an initial report of its findings and recommendations by January 2023, and a final written report by January 2024. These findings are expected to include:
- Current workforce readiness programs and activities in the state's public schools, including but not limited to high school vocational education programs, dual enrollment programs, and internships.
- Successful workforce readiness programs and practices in Louisiana and elsewhere, including the identification of best practices from these models to guide the expansion of career and technical education program development.
- Impediments to more successful workforce readiness programs and practices in Louisiana, including those in rural communities.
- Funding mechanisms for workforce readiness programs and activities.
- Incentives for districts implementing industry-based opportunities on the state focus list where students are achieving at the advanced levels.
- Training opportunities for principals, career and technical education coordinators or those in equivalent positions, and teachers or instructors, including recommendations related to teacher certification for faculty teaching career and technical education courses.
- Tax incentive opportunities for businesses and industries participating in training programs, apprenticeships, internships, or externships.
- Industry certifications, including those obtained in traditional and nontraditional classrooms.
- Inclusion of workforce readiness programs and activities in the school and district accountability system.
About the Louisiana Community and Technical College System
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) provides strategic management and support for Louisiana's 12 community and technical colleges. LCTCS colleges award associates degrees, technical diplomas, and industry-based certificates in programs aligned with business and industry and local economies, which lead students to good in-demand, high-wage jobs.