Acadiana’s ability to develop a 21st century workforce will be a key determinant of our state’s future economic success. Even as Louisiana’s workforce expands, numerous reports have identified a skills gap in critical fields requiring postsecondary education. Closing Louisiana’s skills gap requires targeted investments in workforce development, including strengthening our state’s higher education institutions.
By leveraging existing postsecondary education assets in Acadiana, we can build a workforce pipeline capable of supporting high-growth sectors and cultivating a diversified economy.
55 by 25 Acadiana
The future prosperity of Acadiana depends on a fundamental commitment to education as a top regional priority. To ensure Acadiana is globally competitive, the region requires a strong and well-educated workforce. It is our firm belief that no accomplishment will be more critical to our future as a region.
To that end, our regional goal is to increase the proportion of working-age adults in Acadiana with postsecondary degrees, certificates, or other high-value credentials to 55 percent by 2025.
This goal will be met by ensuring a strong cradle through career education system, providing opportunities for the current labor pool to gain new skills, and attracting and retaining talented people in Acadiana.
Convened as part of 1A’s Workforce & Education Committee, the quarterly industry roundtable series brings together employers who require similar skill sets in their workforces to discuss their shared needs with education and training providers. The roundtables are a chance for peers within an industry to discuss their workforce challenges and best practices, including recruiting, hiring, training, retaining talent, and more.
Outcomes of past industry roundtables include the development of a new respiratory therapy apprenticeship program and promotion of a new software developer apprenticeship program, both the first of their kind in the state.
Rural Workforce Cohort
To support our region’s rural learners, 1A has been selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Foundation to participate in an Economic Mobility for Rural Workers Cohort. ACCE Foundation will provide technical assistance, consulting support, peer learning opportunities, and connections to content experts. The cohort of 11 communities from across the country will be divided into four subgroups to pilot strategies to help low-income rural workers secure well-paid jobs.
Resources for Developing Minds
Inspired by 1A’s 2022 Leadership Exchange trip to Pensacola, 1A partnered United Way of Acadiana launched Resources for Developing Minds to promote early brain development. Led in partnership with Ochsner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes, the program provides resources to every new parent within both hospitals, with the goal of supporting healthy brain development, promoting early learning, and improving outcomes for all young children in Acadiana.