The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, or Perkins V, serves as the primary federal investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The Louisiana Perkins V State Plan depends on having strong regional teams to ensure rigorous education and training opportunities that lead to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand occupations are available to all citizens. The purpose of the regional approach is to better target the needs of industry, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and to ensure that Perkins funds are focused on achieving the greatest outcomes. Leveraging the regional team model, which already existed under Perkins IV, the previous regional teams were consolidated into eight coalitions that match the Regional Labor Market Areas (RLMA) identified by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Each Perkins Regional Coalition (PRC), led by a Perkins Regional Coalition Coordinator (PRCC), consists of stakeholders vested in CTE:
(1) secondary, post-secondary, adult, and corrections education,
(2) business and industry,
(3) workforce and economic development,
(4) students and parents, and
(5) foundation and community partners.
These members help to assess and inform CTE programming in the region by utilizing local needs assessments and employment data to support planning and decisions. During February, we will highlight a few of the success stories from the field.
Funding for Perkins V focuses on achieving outcomes, outcomes aligned to local industry need and identified through collaboration with regional partners, industry, education, and community. In Region 7, the regional partners are collaboratively using data to evaluate programs and to identify on-going activities that support high-skill, high-wage, in-demand programs.
With the health emergency, COVID-19, Region 7 is collaboratively responding to its challenges. According to local industry partners, there is a growing demand for health care workers in our region and throughout the state. Based on Labor Market Information from the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LaWorks), the chart below illustrates the 4-5 Star careers that are in high demand in this region:
Occupational Projections. Louisiana Workforce Commission (laworks.net)
The Certified Nursing Assistant program provides highly specialized and intense training for students with the desire to pursue a career in the health occupations field. This course prepares students as Certified Nursing Assistants for jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Upon successful completion of the program and passing score on the state test, students earn the Certified Nurse Aide IBC and may seek employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Louisiana.
Students are taught entry-level skills and knowledge to provide basic nursing care skills. Classroom and laboratory practice occur during the first 9 weeks of the semester. Supervised clinical rotations take place in local nursing homes during the second 9 weeks of the semester. Also, students can shadow other health care professionals in a hospital setting.
Graduating secondary students’ responses to a school survey indicated that 100% of CNA students will go to college after graduation. Forty percent of these students are using their certifications to work while in college.
Many high schools in the region offer students the opportunity to earn this IBC as well as the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). These students may transition to regional health care programs at Bossier Parish Community College, Southern University at Shreveport, Northwest Technical Community College, and Northwestern State University.
Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning (BPSTIL) has one of the largest secondary health care programs in the region.
Students in nursing program at BPSTIL
Take a peek at the program: https://bpts-bps-la.schoolloop.com/cna
The CNA and Medical Assistant Programs at secondary schools provide students a seamless transition into a two-year Nursing program as illustrated by the graphic below.
PRCC Lead: Region 7
Integral to strengthening Career and Technical Education is collaboration with industry partners to meet regional workforce needs and providing support services to ensure access and equity for all students. In Region 8, the regional partners are working together to identify new high-skill, high-wage, in-demand programs and to provide work-based learning opportunities for students.
Beginning August 2021, students at LDCC’s Winnsboro Campus will, for the first time, have the opportunity to attend Heavy Equipment Vehicle Operator classes. It will be a new program at this campus. The purpose of the Heavy Equipment Vehicle Operator program is to prepare individuals for employment as professional heavy equipment operators and tractor-trailer drivers. The new program is made available in response to high demand regionally and locally for those with skills related to this curriculum. Heavy Equipment Operator and Commercial Vehicle Operator are considered four- and five-star jobs, respectively, by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The curriculum is designed to be completed in two semesters. Any student who successfully completes both semesters will earn the following Industry-Based Certifications as well as a Career and Technical Certificate (CTC) and a Certificate of Technical Skills (CTS):
- NCCER Heavy Equipment Operations Level 1
- NCCER Heavy Equipment Operations Level 2
- OSHA 10
- Commercial Driver License (CDL).
- CTC Heavy Equipment Operations Level One
- CTS Heavy Equipment Operations Level Two
Working together, regional partners are supporting CTE students with opportunities to interact with the community. The Applied Science in Nursing (ASN) students have an active tradition of participating in service-learning opportunities in their respective communities.
ASN students assist with Northeast Louisiana Food Bank Drive
For the past several years, Louisiana Delta Community College has partnered with the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) to collect food for the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank. This year, the nursing students continued this tradition with their participation in the Food Bank Drive for 2020-2021.
ASN students assist with vaccine drive at ULM.
With the health emergency (COVID-19), ASN students in Monroe and Winnsboro broaden their service-learning activities to include participating with the COVID-19 vaccination program. On February 11 and 12, 2021, ANS students assisted with a vaccine drive at ULM by helping to distribute vaccines to eligible students and instructors.
At LDCC’s campuses, Student Support Services offer a broad range of services to support and assist students with adjusting to demands of college, exploring career possibilities, and preparing to step into the workplace. These services include:
- Campus Counselor/Personal Crisis Intervention,
- Career and Technical Student Organizations,
- Career Guidance and Academic Counseling and Job Placement,
- Early Alert System/Full-time Retention Specialist,
- Financial Aid/Scholarship Counselors,
- Learning Commons, Library, Tutoring Center, and
- Students with Disabilities Support Services.
Financial Aid Awareness Day
At the Ruston Campus, Dorothy Davis, Financial Aid Counselor, used a Financial Aid Awareness Day (October 22, 2020) to advise students on various topics related to Financial Aid:
- Completing the FAFSA
- Types of Grants, including Pell grants,
- Types of Loans
- Applying for Federal work-study program
- Accessing national, state, and local scholarships.
Career Services has counselors ready to assist students with making decisions about the next steps in selecting a career choice as well as assisting students with the tools for accessing jobs. From providing career assessments to writing workshops, the Career Center assists with career exploration and development. Examples of career services include Resume Writing Workshops, Job Placement Fairs, and Professionalism Days.
On November 17 and 18, 2020, healthcare employers from Ruston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Alpine Nursing Home, Ochsner LSU Health Center _ Shreveport, North Louisiana Medical Center, Michael Brooks Family Clinic, Lincoln Community Health Center, Ruston Regional Specialty Hospital and Family First Medicine participated in a Practical Nursing Professionalism Day. These employers shared information about employment opportunities with students at the Ruston Campus’s Practical Nursing program.
Practical Nursing Professional Day
Searching for an internship, preparing for that first, second, or third job interview, or writing or updating a resume are among the resources offered to students to assist them with their job searches. On November 19, 2020, the Career Center offered at Resume Writing Workshop where Julie Salter spoke to students regarding how to create a resume, a skill vitally important to students entering the workforce.
Resume Writing Workshop
PRCC Lead: Region 8