The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District, along with the River Region Chamber of Commerce and other area education and business leaders, agreed to a collaborative regional workforce development effort in a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on May 2. The campaign will increase awareness and better prepare the citizens of St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist Parishes for opportunities available in the region.
Lead by the River Region Chamber of Commerce, the campaign will be implemented in collaboration with Louisiana Calling, a Louisiana-based 501c3 nonprofit organization that was established by business leaders from across the state in 2014. This regional effort will serve as a significant complement to Louisiana Calling’s statewide campaign.
“We’re honored to be asked to facilitate this regional effort,” said Dr. Christel Slaughter, Louisiana Calling’s project coordinator. “Louisiana Calling’s mission is to help Louisianans discover and appreciate the many educational pathways that lead to successful careers available in Louisiana today.”
In recent years, Louisiana’s education and workforce training providers, such as high schools, community and technical colleges, universities, and private training providers, have expanded access to and refined offerings of educational programming focused on careers that require some type of postsecondary degree and/or credential(s), but not necessarily a four-year diploma.
“We live in an economy that demands some type of postsecondary diploma or credential as prerequisites to securing a financially sustainable career,” said Mike Palamone, Chair of the Workforce Development Committee of the River Region Chamber and Louisiana Calling Board member. “Our goal, through this collaborative campaign, is to raise awareness in the community that most of these high-value careers can be secured with two-year community college degrees or technical certifications and credentials.”
Implementation of the campaign will begin with enlisting the support of key employers in the region, followed by the development and facilitation of three targeted communication campaigns. A communications campaign targeting high school students in the three-parish region will utilize new and traditional media resources and in-person engagements and events to convey the opportunities available in the region in a relatable way. Concurrently, a similar communications campaign will target young (underemployed) adults who have not yet found their path to a sustainable career and a financially stable life. Finally, a third communications campaign will target the key influencers of high school students and young adults.
Entities Included in Memorandum of Understanding:
River Region Chamber of Commerce
St. Charles Parish Government
St. James Parish Government
St. John the Baptist Parish Government
St. Charles Parish Public Schools
St. James Parish Public Schools
St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools
Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System
River Parishes Community College – Ascension Campus
South Central Louisiana Technical College – Reserve Campus
Workforce Development Board – St. Charles Parishes Consortium