A new initiative, the Reskilling and Recovery Network, is designed to bring state and community college leaders together to provide workers with programs and resources to reenter the workforce. Bossier Parish Community College is part of this effort launched by the National Governors Association and the American Association of Community Colleges to identify and arm workers with skills they need to succeed in a workforce reshaped by the pandemic.
As Chancellor of BPCC, I have joined with state and community college leaders in this national network to collaborate on economic and workforce recovery solutions that give workers the opportunity to pursue well-paying careers.
Supported by the Lumina Foundation and the Siemens Foundation, the network will strategize, share tools, learn from experts, and have access to technical assistance. Speaking about the network, former President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and current President and CEO of AACC, Walter G. Bumphus, said, “The nation’s community colleges are essential to developing a strong workforce. Working directly with government leaders to wholly address the needs of workers and businesses will benefit students, local economies and the nation’s workforce.”
Louisiana has been particularly hard hit by the combined economic effect of the coronavirus and the resulting downturn in the oil and gas industry. The two-year colleges in our State have responded with a plan to help the economy find its footing and get people back to work–“Reboot Louisiana”. Working closely with regional economic developing organizations and employer partners in northwest Louisiana, we’ve identified high-demand career pathways where accelerated training programs can reskill workers for jobs available in the State’s regional economies.
BPCC and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership are working to respond with a collection of accelerated programs that result in a high-value, industry-based credential and are aligned to jobs in the region. The programs, once identified and approved, will be supported with CARES Act funds and the goal is to help 1,000 unemployed or under-employed citizens in our region to reskill, reboot, and recover with a job that has advancement potential in a high-demand field.
Louisiana has a track record of responding to disasters and the resulting economic challenges. The work currently underway in our State will be shared with and influenced by the national Reskill and Recovery Network. When, not if, we are successful with this work… the investment in our own people will result in taxpayers who continue to contribute to our State’s economy well into the future. As your regional, comprehensive, community college, BPCC stands ready to lead nationally and work locally to address the economic impact of COVID-19 and prepare our citizens with the skills necessary to succeed in an economy reshaped by the pandemic.
Dr. Rick Bateman | Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College