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Does Louisiana Have Great Work Force? Depends on Who You Ask


October 1, 2018
By Erin McCarty
Originally Posted on News Radio 710 KEEL

One of the key issues Shreveport Bossier residents talk about is jobs and finding ways to keep people in our community. Many young professionals have been fleeing the area to other cities for better job opportunities. US Census numbers show we have lost 4% of our population over the past 10-15 years.

But Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says we are making great strides in workforce development across the state.  This is in stark contrast to comments made on KEEL by Stephen Waguespack of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He says we don't have an educated workforce and that drives business away from our state.

Waguespack agrees with Pierson in saying Fast Start is a model program. But he says it is targetted to specific situations. He cites Bentler Steel which might need a certain kind of worker. Fast Start would be used to put together a program aimed at training the workers needed for that company. Waguespack adds that we can do much more. "I want every kid coming out of our K-12 schools with the fundamentals they need. If that happens, we will have a competitive list of job openings ready for them."