BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has been awarded a $1,550,000 million grant by the U.S Department of Labor (USDOL) for the Expanding Opportunities Today to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs project, which is aimed at increasing the number of registered apprentices throughout the state. The LWC will partner with state high schools and the Ochsner Health System, the commissions primary health care partner in this initiative. While aimed at developing Registered Apprenticeship programs in surgical technician and licensed practical nurse fields, the LWC will look to increase the number of all registered apprentices in the state of Louisiana by 100 percent over the next three years.
“This grant will allow the Louisiana Workforce Commission to expand our apprenticeship program to develop even more partnerships throughout the state and incorporate a diversity of occupations,” said the LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “By increasing access to marginalized communities, we enhance the economy and its workforce by putting people to work in fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.”
“I congratulate Secretary Ava Dejoie and her team on the tremendous job they are doing in helping Louisianans become workforce ready and secure good paying jobs,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Registered Apprenticeship is a pathway to prosperity and has consistently proven to be one of the best, if not the best, education and training model for many who have faced challenges becoming a productive part of the workforce. A majority of those who complete their apprenticeship become employed with an average starting salary above $50,000. This is exactly the kind of help that grows our middle-class and gives families a real chance at a brighter future in Louisiana.”
The project will also focus on expanding opportunities in Information Technology (IT), and increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship for underrepresented populations including women, people of color, disabled veterans, youth primarily under the age of 24 and low income individuals. Furthermore, this project will supplement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and allow the state of Louisiana to initiate a pilot program to develop pre-apprenticeship training and provide supportive services in the recruitment and retention of more women in the state’s Registered Apprenticeship system. This strategy will include an incentive to recognize excellence in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program in Registered Apprenticeship. These incentives will award various program sponsors for increasing the percentage of underrepresented populations in their respective industries. Additional monetary awards will be given to individuals who reach certain Registered Apprenticeship goals.
About Registered Apprenticeship
The Registered Apprenticeship program is part of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) that helps provide opportunities to workers looking to gain new skills and employers in search of qualified workers. Different apprenticeship programs can range from one to six years but primarily on average take four.
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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