Acadiana ConnectED Fellowship: Linking Educators to Industry

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Workforce & Education

Home » Acadiana ConnectED Fellowship: Linking Educators to Industry

South Louisiana Community College (SoLAcc), in collaboration with One Acadiana and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), successfully hosted the inaugural Acadiana ConnectED Fellowship: Linking Educators to Industry. The program, designed to bridge the gap between education and industry, welcomed 20 teachers from across the region, connecting them to valuable resources and insights.

The Acadiana ConnectED Fellowship was held June 11, 2024, and was presented by One Acadiana through a Perkin’s Leadership grant secured by SoLAcc. This grant aims to ensure that students are well-informed about the high-demand, high-wage careers available in the Acadiana region. Through this initiative, teachers, who often have limited time to build community relationships, were connected with local businesses, providing them with firsthand knowledge of the career opportunities available for their students.

“One Acadiana was thrilled to collaborate with South Louisiana Community College and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority on this impactful fellowship program,” explained Dr. Maggi Bienvenu, Manager, Workforce & Policy Initiatives, One Acadiana. “By connecting educators with local businesses, we are not only empowering teachers with valuable insights and resources but also ensuring that their students are aware of the promising career opportunities available in our region. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to fostering strong community relationships and supporting the development of future talent in Acadiana.”

The program featured tours of several One Acadiana member businesses, including Stuller Inc., Tides Medical, Ochsner, and SLB in Youngsville. These tours offered educators a unique look into the operations and career prospects within these leading companies. By witnessing the inner workings of these businesses, teachers can better inform their students about the practical applications of their studies and potential career paths available close to home.

“We are proud to support initiatives like the Acadiana ConnectED Fellowship that have a direct impact on our educators and, ultimately, our students,” said Virginia Maze, Grants Specialist at SoLAcc. “This program exemplifies our commitment to providing educators with the tools and connections they need to guide their students towards successful and fulfilling careers in our region.”

Teachers who participated in the fellowship program expressed their gratitude for the opportunity, with one participant noting how “empowered” they felt by the information shared. This positive feedback highlights the program’s success in making the experience engaging, informative, and productive for educators who dedicated their summertime to attend.