BATON ROUGE – Educators, manufacturers and economic development organizations throughout Louisiana will celebrate Manufacturing Week 2021 from Sept. 26 through Oct. 2. The sixth annual event is designed to celebrate the importance of manufacturing to the state and showcase career opportunities to students and residents.
LED FastStart – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the 12th year in a row – is partnering with economic development organizations and partner companies to facilitate events taking place throughout the state. The objective is to dispel misconceptions about the industry and to encourage students and young adults to consider a future in manufacturing.
“Louisiana’s manufacturing sector is a key component of our state’s economic engine,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “I am proud to officially proclaim next week as Louisiana Manufacturing Week, and I am especially proud to see statewide leaders in business and education once again collaborating with LED FastStart to share with our students how rewarding manufacturing professions can be. With the support of regional and local partners, this campaign will encourage our young people to explore opportunities they may not have discovered otherwise.”
Louisiana’s manufacturing industry currently employs more than 126,000 residents. Companies increasingly rely heavily on advanced technologies that require advanced skills and command higher salaries than some of the more traditional manufacturing jobs of years past.
“Across the nation, the manufacturing sector is facing a workforce deficit, with high demand for many job openings expected in the coming years,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “With strong support from Governor Edwards and the Legislature we have LED FastStart which is making it a priority to connect Louisiana residents with the well paying jobs of tomorrow. Louisiana Manufacturing Week is a great way to introduce these careers to our young people. Careers that are supported by state-of-the-art technology, will benefit Louisiana, Louisiana students and Louisiana companies.”
Events will take place across all regions of the state and will include in-person tours, classroom visits and virtual presentations. The annual celebration has become a highlight of LED FastStart’s efforts to foster and support the state’s manufacturing workforce. Since 2016, more than 20,000 Louisiana students have participated in Manufacturing Week events.
“At LED FastStart, we are dedicated to developing the next generation of highly skilled and qualified manufacturing professionals, and we are proud to work with our partner organizations across Louisiana to do so,” LED FastStart Executive Director Paul Helton said. “Connecting today’s students with the jobs of tomorrow is a win-win for educators and employers. Our manufacturers are directly responsible for the products we use every day. What better way to honor them than by getting our young people excited about becoming part of the next generation of manufacturers.”
About LED FastStart
LED FastStart works with new and expanding companies in target industries to tailor comprehensive recruitment, training and workforce solutions. LED FastStart’s custom solutions ensure that employees are fully prepared from day one of a project launch. LED FastStart is the only U.S. program to be ranked No. 1 since Business Facilities introduced the Workforce Training Leaders category in 2010. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com/FastStart.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2020, LED attracted 58 new economic development projects representing over 11,600 new jobs, 8,600 retained jobs and more than $12.7 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team, in conjunction with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, assisted more than 17,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2020. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.