Lafayette Region Workforce Development

QualityWorkforce

A right-to work state for more than three decades, Louisiana ranks in the Top 10 for lowest rates of private workforce unionization. It is also home to LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program, which creates customized workforce recruitment, screening, and training solutions.

Matching job seekers and employers:

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The people of Acadiana believe that success is created through education, dedication, and hard work. Let us introduce you to a workforce that is eager and capable of meeting the demands of your growing business.

We are ready to help you find the people you need. 

Connecting Industry and Classrooms:

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Acadiana’s Higher Education Institutions Grow Talent

Partnerships between the business community and higher education institutions across our nine-parish region ensure top-notch education and training, building a workforce pipeline capable of supporting high-growth sectors and cultivating a diversified economy.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

UL is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University with High Research Activity, and it is among the top 10 universities in the U.S. for its percentage of R&D expenditures funded by business, according to the National Science Foundation. UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering is its largest undergraduate program boasting over 2,700 undergraduate students, 177 master’s students, and 41 PhD students representing 45 states and 25 countries. The college focuses on providing “hands-on” learning experiences with a strong emphasis on internship and cooperative learning experiences. Over 200 companies regularly recruit its Engineering and Technology graduates.

 

Building our Regional Workforce:

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Click to download our Regional Workforce Development Strategy.

Louisiana State University – Eunice

 

Located in a rich and fertile section of Acadiana known as the “tri-parish area”, LSU-Eunice is a two-year university in the LSU system offering numerous transfer degree programs, technical certificates, and associate degrees. It is nationally recognized for its allied health programs, and its developmental education program, Pathways to Success.

South Louisiana Community College (SLCC)

 

SLCC offers technical diplomas, workforce training, high school dual enrollment and two-year degree programs. It maintains 8 campuses across the Acadiana region, and offers 35 areas of study via traditional, evening, and web-based courses. SLCC is focused on job placement, and maintains strong ties to local businesses who trust in the capabilities of its graduates.

In January 2016, South Louisiana Community College purchased Bristow Academy’s New Iberia location and its assets for $2.9 million to establish its International School for Aviation Excellence, which will confer two-year associates degrees to helicopter pilots. This initiative will also expand the college’s aviation maintenance technician program to develop a cadre of aerospace professionals who meet and exceed the industry standards and workforce demands of today and tomorrow.

South Central Louisiana Technical College (SCLTC)

 

A part of the SCLTC system, the Marine Safety Center in Morgan City moved a portion of training to water front property in 2005. Located on the new site is a hydraulic crane, a flashover fire trainer, GMDSS lab, and state of art Radar simulation lab.

SOWELA Technical Community College

 

It offers programs in fields such as criminal justice, industrial instrumentation technology, office systems technology, and process technology.

 

Higher Education Enrollment

Institution* Enrollment**
Louisiana State University 30,861
University of Louisiana - Lafayette 17,297
McNeese State University 7,629
Southern University and A&M College 6,118
South Louisiana Community College 6,534
SOWELA Technical Community College 3,347
Louisiana State University at Eunice 3,044
South Central Louisiana Technical College - Young Memorial 1,961
Total 76,791

*Above includes universities and vocational schools within 75 miles of central Acadiana **Above enrollment is for Fall 2017
Source: IPEDS, SOWELA Registrar's office

Labor Force by Parish

Acadiana’s nine-parish region has grown steadily over the past 25 years boasting a total population of approximately 691,000. There are approximately 1.4 million people within a 60-mile radius. Acadiana's labor force has grown with its population.

 
Area Labor Force Employed Unemployed Unemployment Rate
Acadia Parish 24,518 22,947 1,571 6.4%
Evangeline Parish 12,518 11,617 901 7.2%
Iberia Parish 29,836 27,794 2,042 6.8%
Jeff Davis Parish 13,841 13,055 786 5.7%
Lafayette Parish 115,001 108,802 6,199 5.4%
St. Landry Parish 32,828 30,327 2,501 7.6%
St. Martin Parish 22,706 21,274 1,432 6.3%
St. Mary Parish 20,224 18,627 1,597 7.9%
Vermilion Parish 24,862 23,339 1,523 6.1%
1A Total 296,334 277,782 18,552 6.3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Louisiana Workforce Commission (July 2018)

Average Earnings By Industry

Industry Average Earnings
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 18,745
Health Care and Social Assistance 46,309
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 66,450
Finance and Insurance 65,584
Information 58,466
Transportation and Warehousing 61,733
Wholesale Trade 62,441
Manufacturing 71,092
Construction 53,118
Utilities 88,756
Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas Extraction 100,781

Source: Q4 2017 EMSI

Explore Our Region

Vermilion Parish

Vermilion Parish is known for its fresh seafood, bountiful agriculture, great access via road and waterways, and a rich history of cultural and eco tourism. This bilingual (English/French), coastal parish is large and diverse with wandering bayous and farmlands, authentic local cuisine, family-friendly festivals and Cajun towns connecting it all. Vermilion is centrally located in the southern part of Louisiana immediately adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. This proximity to the Gulf makes the parish an ideal location for the numerous companies needed to serve this region’s oil and gas industry.

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St. Mary Parish

In St. Mary Parish – or “The Cajun Coast” – the blending of French, Italian, Spanish, English, African, Native American, and Cajun traditions created a rich and flavorful “gumbo” of communities. The Atchafalaya River basin and the Gulf of Mexico serve as the lifeblood for the parish, which is composed of five municipalities: Morgan City, Berwick, Patterson, Franklin, and Baldwin, as well as the Chitimacha Nation in Charenton.

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St. Martin Parish

With a population of approximately 53,000, St. Martin Parish is part of the Lafayette MSA and sits at the corridor of both Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 90.  St. Martin Parish is the only parish to have non-contiguous parts, in that, there are three major geographical areas dividing the 740 square mile parish, including the Atchafalaya Basin, the prairie, and the Bayou Teche area, on which several noteworthy cities, including the parish seat of St. Martinville, are located.

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St. Landry Parish

St. Landry Parish is moving forward. Located in the heart of Cajun and Creole heritage, this culturally diverse parish (county) in Southern Louisiana is a unique place both to live and do business – where hard-working people “live their culture” and are building a thriving economic base along with a high-quality trained workforce.

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Jeff Davis Parish

People from all over the world visit Jefferson Davis Parish to enjoy and experience rich Cajun and Indian culture. Jeff Davis Parish’s location, natural beauty, climate and small-town atmosphere offer a unique place for your family or business. The parish’s economic base includes health care services, shipbuilding, construction, agriculture, and oil field services. The parish has many industrial sites including the Lacassine Industrial Park on I-10.

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Iberia Parish

Iberia Parish, Louisiana and its progressive communities are the place for exciting opportunities. Iberia Parish offers a unique mix of southern fun and hospitality nestled in the heart of “Cajun Country.” Moss-draped Live Oak trees and beautiful antebellum homes serve as the backdrop for a hard-working labor force, cutting edge medical and industrial technology along with worldwide leaders in the exploration of oil and natural gas.

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Evangeline Parish

Perhaps no parish in Acadiana is more possessive of its heritage than Evangeline. Its citizens will tell you (seriously, but with a humorous touch, too) that they have the best gumbo, the best boudin (a sausage-like local favorite), and other Cajun delicacies. When it comes to Louisiana French country flavor, no parish surpasses this parish in the northwest corner of central Acadiana.

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Acadia Parish

Perfectly located along the I-10 corridor with major US Highways, railways, waterways, a port and airports, Acadia Parish offers the transportation resources needed for productive commerce. Cost of living and sites for business are affordable. This humble community is home to a culturally diverse and devoted population whose work ethic is as strong now as it was when their Cajun forefathers first settled here. Acadia Parish’s quaint charm makes it a great place to live, work and retire.

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Lafayette Parish

Affectionately known as the "Hub-City" of Acadiana, Lafayette, LA offers the essential elements needed to ensure the growth and development of its business community. Lafayette is set apart by its strategic location, a world-class workforce, a pro-business climate, and an unmatched quality of life. These attributes, complemented by a high-tech infrastructure and quality real estate, make Lafayette a unique place to live, work, play and do business.

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