The Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Louisiana Human Resources Development Institute hosted the first statewide Labor Summit on March 21-23 at the New Orleans Marriott hotel. This conference showcased many workforce development programs and featured several panels and plenary sessions from different state agencies, the federal government, and other partners.
Thursday, March 22, the Apprenticeship Division held a panel titled “The Benefits & Opportunities of Registered Apprenticeship” led by the Director of Apprenticeship, Joseph Hollins. Among the panel guests were Henry Heier, Chairman of the State Apprenticeship Council; Jerry Repka II, New Orleans Carpenter’s Training Fund of Louisiana Program Coordinator; Missy Sparks, Ochsner Health System Program Coordinator; Barbara Murray, Executive Director of TransPORTs; and Geri Scott, Director of Jobs for the Future. This panel lasted one hour and 15 minutes with questions presented by Hollins.
The panel speakers provided insights from their unique backgrounds, sharing stories of their introduction to Registered Apprenticeship and the success that has accompanied it. They each spoke on their roles within the workforce strategy and what they had to offer, from employee, employer, intermediary, and funding support areas. This led to an engaging response from the audience with many questions. There were requests for a longer session at the next statewide convening so that more information could be expressed without such time constraint.
The Apprenticeship Division looks forward to next year’s Labor Summit and hopes to have multiple sessions, as there simply isn’t enough time to present Registered Apprenticeship and all of its benefits in a single session.