Ochsner Health System Partners With LA Workforce Commission For $1.5M+ Registered Apprenticeship Program

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System will partner with the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and state high schools for the Expanding Opportunities Today to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs project. The LWC has been awarded a $1,550,000 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) for this initiative, which is aimed at increasing the number of registered apprentices throughout the state. While aimed at developing registered apprenticeship programs in the medical technician and licensed practical nurse fields, LWC will look to increase the number of all registered apprentices in Louisiana by 100 percent over the next three years.

         “We are thrilled that Ochsner Health System, in partnership with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the local Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Boards, has been selected as a sponsor site for the Apprenticeship Expansion Grant,” said Missy Hopson Sparks, Ph.D., associate vice president of talent management, Ochsner Health System. “Through this grant, we will create healthcare apprenticeships—a unique opportunity for many underemployed residents to gain valuable training and begin a career in the healthcare sector. The graduates of this initiative will help Ochsner meet its growing staffing demands and we are grateful for this partnership with LWC and JOB1.”

         “This grant will allow the Louisiana Workforce Commission to expand our apprenticeship program to develop even more partnerships throughout the state and incorporate a diversity of occupations,” said the LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “By increasing access to marginalized communities, we enhance the economy and its workforce by putting people to work in fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.”

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         “I congratulate Secretary Ava Dejoie and her team on the tremendous job they are doing in helping Louisianans become workforce ready and secure good paying jobs,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Registered Apprenticeship is a pathway to prosperity and has consistently proven to be one of the best, if not the best, education and training model for many who have faced challenges becoming a productive part of the workforce. A majority of those who complete their apprenticeship become employed with an average starting salary above $50,000. This is exactly the kind of help that grows our middle-class and gives families a real chance at a brighter future in Louisiana.”

         The project will also focus on expanding opportunities in Information Technology (IT), and increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship for underrepresented populations including women, people of color, disabled veterans, youth primarily under the age of 24 and low income individuals. This project will supplement the WIOA, program reps said, and allow the state of Louisiana to initiate a pilot program to develop pre-apprenticeship training and provide supportive services in the recruitment and retention of more women in the state’s registered apprenticeship system. This strategy will include an incentive to recognize excellence in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program in registered apprenticeship. These incentives will award various program sponsors for increasing the percentage of underrepresented populations in their respective industries. Additional monetary awards will be given to individuals who reach certain registered apprenticeship goals.

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