BATON ROUGE, LA. – Thursday, Shell and five Louisiana community and technical colleges virtually facilitated the twelfth annual Louisiana Energize Your Destiny career and education forum. Schools participating in the event included Baton Rouge Community College, Delgado Community College, Fletcher Technical Community College, Nunez Community College and River Parishes Community College.
The forum, attended by more than 300 high school, college, and adult education students, is designed to expose women to a menu of education and career paths offered by LCTCS colleges, including various options within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based careers.
"The days of labeling some careers as non-traditional paths for women are over," said LCTCS System Director of Industry Aligned Career Pathways Alison Bordelon. "Our forum provides a platform for participants to connect with members of industry and education from across the state as they inspire women to take charge of their education and career paths and become the future of the energy sector workforce."
Throughout the forum, participants were given the opportunity to explore education and training programs, develop skills for entry into career destinations, connect with faculty and industry leaders, and identify how personal choices can strengthen professional outcomes, all at no cost to the participants.
"Energize Your Destiny (EYD) is a staple event held virtually this year in partnership with LCTCS and its member colleges," said Frazier Wilson, Manager of HR and Workforce Development for Shell. "The EYD Women’s Forum is entering its 12th year providing female attendees an interactive engagement and understanding about energy sector careers, scholarships and educational opportunities in developing Shell’s future talent pipeline."
The Energize Your Destiny forum is offered in connection with other Shell STEM-focused initiatives, such as Shell’s Energy Venture Camp and Astro Camp, provided earlier this summer. These aligned initiatives demonstrate Shell’s commitment to encouraging student exploration of education and career path alignments within the energy sector.
“Today’s forum underscores the importance of partnerships like the one between Shell and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System,” noted First Lady Donna Edwards during the event. “It is important that we work together to come up with innovative ways to not only introduce our students to new and exciting career options such as those in the energy sector, but also provide them with effective training to develop the necessary skills to become ready for this growing workforce. As a former teacher I also recognize the importance of the arts related to increasing the performance of the skills needed in science and math. I so appreciate the encouragement of women working in this important industry through this forum.”
Louisiana State Senator Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), a former Shell executive and champion of STEM education, offered an inspiring keynote presentation during the event. "The devastation from Hurricane Laura and the resulting power loss is a great reminder of the critical importance of reliable energy for our communities and our nation," said Hewitt. "There has never been a better time to work in the energy industry. I am proud of the leadership and technical skills I developed while working in the industry and hope that more women will choose a similar career path."
LCTCS and Shell partnered with Central Creativity to provide students the flexibility to attend the event via a virtual platform, allowing for a more innovative and interactive experience.