By Lauren Heffker, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Community and Technical College System is partnering with Amazon Web Services to implement the tech company’s Educate curriculum, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday.
The community colleges also will collaborate with Amazon to offer an associate degree in cloud computing.
“This is all about the talent pipeline,” Edwards said. “We want that in Louisiana, too.”
The partnership is the first step in a broader push to try to increase the workforce for high-paying tech jobs in the state, the governor said. Building an information technology and cybersecurity infrastructure has been one of Edwards’ goals this legislative session.
The credits from the 12 community and technical colleges will transfer to institutions in the Louisiana State University system, the University of Louisiana system and the Southern University system.
“The very nature of work is changing forever,” University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said at the briefing.
Edwards said tech jobs often pay twice as much as other types of jobs and that the tech industry needs more women and minorities.
Last year, Louisiana failed in a long-shot bid to persuade Amazon to locate its second headquarters here.
The partnership with Amazon comes as lawmakers strive to expand information technology jobs in the state and bolster Louisiana’s cyber defenses.
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a proposal by Rep. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles, to create the Louisiana Cybersecurity Talent Initiative Fund.
The bill, which would fund degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity fields, is scheduled for debate on the House floor next week.
Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, proposed a constitutional amendment that would create the State Cybersecurity and Information Technology Infrastructure Fund to improve the state’s technology system.
No action has been taken on that proposal.