The state is continuing to build upon its Incumbent Worker Training Program by directing available grants to mostly high-growth industries. Last week, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced more than $2.7 million in grants that will be used to train more than 2,300 employees at 21 businesses. The targeted industries include aluminum fabrication, engineering, oilfield services, food-service equipment manufacturing and nursing.
LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield says the program’s primary objective in coming years will be to reach out to these high-demand fields. “While this makes the application process more competitive, we believe it also ensures we are aligning available resources with our workforce development priorities to make sure the expenditures have the maximum impact on our job market and our economy,” he says. In the Baton Rouge region, JM Test Systems was given $164,681 to train 108 employees on computer software applications, sales and specific technical training in calibration and high-voltage system testing.
The program is chiefly a partnership between the state and private businesses, but it also offers a role for Louisiana’s community colleges to play. The employees selected in this most recent round of grants will be trained by providers such as Louisiana Technical College’s Ascension campus, LSU Alexandria Continuing Education, Louisiana Delta Community College, LSU-Shreveport and L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College.—Jeremy Alford