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Date:June 18, 2024
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Governor Landry signs bill to transform workforce solutions in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. – Joined by legislators, workforce stakeholders, and business leaders, Governor Jeff Landry signed legislation redesigning Louisiana’s efforts to address business and economic workforce needs across Louisiana.

Senate Bill 293, authored by Senate Education Committee Chair Rick Edmonds, establishes that the Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) delivers business workforce solutions for the state, a purpose previously silent in state law. It will become ACT 330 of the 2024 Legislative Session.

“Businesses across the state tell me they want the government to do a better job addressing their workforce problems,” Governor Landry said. “With Senator Edmonds' bill and the leadership at the Louisiana Workforce Commission, we are doing that immediately.”

The legislation designates legal responsibility over business workforce needs in the principal statute for the Louisiana Workforce Commission and tasks the agency with addressing personnel shortages across major economic sectors. It calls for the LWC to align specific agencies – including Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana Department of Education (LDEO), Louisiana Board of Regents (BOR), Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) – to improve the delivery of workforce solutions.

“We are changing the economic platform right before our eyes,” Senator Edmonds said. “I am thankful as a legislator to work with partnerships, like the Committee of 100 and our business community, to change the state of Louisiana.”

In addition, the bill calls for a single point of contact in every region of the state to develop solutions to immediate and long-term workforce needs. It demands a path for college and university students to have internships in Louisiana as part of their coursework.

“The economy of the future will require a workforce with increasingly sophisticated skills. If Louisiana is going to compete and win in this new landscape, we need new, highly collaborative approaches to workforce development,” said Susana Schowen, Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “This legislation empowers us to build systems that serve our businesses and our people better than ever before.”

Through this bill, the LWC will support the Department of Education in expanding access to and crediting high school internships and apprenticeships, such as those described in the new state accountability formula.

Additionally, the legislation requires an accurate annual forecast of workforce shortages and needs for economic development sector goals. It also outlines a new strategy that will be published in February annually to showcase plans to improve workforce delivery and provide an up-to-date inventory of all workforce programs in Louisiana.

The bill follows the recommendations of the Committee of 100, a private nonprofit organization whose members include CEOs of leading private and public companies and Louisiana university presidents.

“Across Louisiana, businesses are clamoring for help to meet their workforce needs,” said Adam Knapp, CEO of the Committee of 100. “We were excited to help Senator Edmonds with this bill because it positions Louisiana to help companies find the talent they need and compliments LED’s recent reforms to give Louisiana the workforce to compete for investment.”

About Louisiana Workforce Commission

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) connects workers with employers to build a prosperous Louisiana. Our resources include those at the agency’s American Job Centers, job fairs, training programs, apprenticeship opportunities, and numerous other LWC services. For more information, visit www.laworks.net.

About Committee of 100

As a nonpartisan business roundtable, the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. (C100) brings together the state’s top leaders in business and academia to advocate for economic development and state public policy aimed at improving Louisiana’s competitiveness. Created in 1992, C100 provides leadership and resources to engage its members in nonpartisan advocacy to improve Louisiana for all its residents. For more information, visit www.c100la.org.

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