Governor, LWC Secretary recognize graduates of Louisiana’s first IT apprenticeship program

BATON ROUGE – Governor John Bel Edwards congratulated nine graduates who have made history as Louisiana’s first Information Technology (IT) Registered Apprenticeship program alumnae during a press conference held at the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

Funded in part by the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s (LWC) Registered Apprenticeship division, Apprenti Louisiana is the product of a collaborative effort between the LWC, NexusLA (a subsidiary of Research Park Corporation), the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), LANTEC Corporate Training and five Louisiana employers: BlueCross BlueShield, EATEL Business, General Informatics, TraceSecurity and Transformyx. The LWC has invested $130,000 in this first cohort of the program, which follows a traditional earn-while-you-learn Apprenticeship program model.

Program participants train for 15 months – three months in the classroom and one year of one-the-job (OJT) training – to become Cybersecurity Analysts, or Information Security Analysts – considered a high-demand, five-star occupation by the LWC’s Star Jobs ranking system. Initial training wages begin at $35,000 for the first six months, and will increase to more than $43,000 thereafter. Completers earn CompTIA A+ and Network + credentials. The program’s objective is to prepare and connect Louisiana residents with the high-demand, high-wage jobs in IT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) fields.

“The average STEM job pays twice what the average non-STEM job does,” Gov. Edwards said. “STEM jobs are going to be in demand for a very long time. The Apprenti program is a great way for people to have not just good jobs, but wonderful careers that really contribute in a meaningful way.”

Gov. Edwards was joined by LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie, Registered Apprenticeship Director Joseph Hollins, Research Park Corporation CEO Genevieve Silverman and Chairman of the Research Park Board Calvin Mills in recognizing the graduates, all of whom have landed jobs with BlueCross BlueShield, EATEL Business, General Informatics, TraceSecurity and Transformyx.

“The LWC is committed to putting people to work, but more important than that, we want Louisiana residents to find lucrative, family-sustaining jobs that are in high demand,” LWC Sec. Dejoie said. “Apprenti is a fantastic model of workforce development at its finest. Every time the LWC provides job seekers with a pathway to great jobs, we’re fulfilling the agency’s primary mission. I’m proud, not only to be a part of this program, but also of these nine individuals who have taken a step toward enjoying fulfilling careers.”

Gov. Edwards emphasized the importance of these types of corporate partnerships, as well as the determination of the program’s participants. “The employers who participate in this are doing a great thing because it’s important that we have this type of pipeline in place,” he said. “I also want to thank the individuals, the nine of you who are graduating from the training program, starting your new careers in technology, right here in the State of Louisiana. This really is what opportunity looks like. This is exciting to me.”

Employers who wish to participate or who would like more information about this program, please contact Joseph Hollins at JHollins@lwc.la.gov or at (225) 342-5899.