Our Louisiana 2020 plan commendable

Published 8:28 am Monday, October 13, 2014

This unprecedented era of economic growth is spurring educational institutions to take action. On Wednesday, officials with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System unveiled major goals they wish to accomplish by 2020.

The initiative, titled Our Louisiana 2020, aims to “build the workforce for tomorrow,” a promotional pamphlet reads. The plan was approved unanimously Thursday by the LCTCS board of supervisors.

The economic expansion forecast in Louisiana is unprecedented in the state over the next decade. And LCTCS officials are right that this prompts immediate action by the system to meet workforce needs. The bold agenda, which includes six major goals, has been in the works for about four months.

The six goals:

Double the number of graduates to 40,000 annually.

The state’s community and technical colleges graduated 20,000 students in 2014, which is up 102 percent from 2007. The system hopes to have 40,000 graduates each year by 2020. The concentration would be on credentials in careers with the most demand.

Double the earnings of the annual graduating class to $1.5 billion.

Graduates from the system earn nearly $725 million annually, which is an increase of $575 million since 2000. The aim to double the earnings of new graduating classes to $1.5 billion by 2020.

Quadruple student transfers to four-year universities to 10,000 annually.

Currently, more than 2,100 students annually transfer from the LCTCS system and transfer to universities. The system wants to quadruple student transfers with 10,000 students transferring by 2020.

Double the number of students served to 325,000 each year.

About 165,000 students are currently enrolled in the LCTCS through credit enrollment, dual enrollment, workforce training and adult program education programs. LCTCS officials vow that they will double the number of students served to 325,000 by 2020.

Quadruple partnerships with business and industry to 1,000 annually.

Community and technical colleges have worked closely with businesses to create the skilled workforce need to meet up-to-date industry standards. The colleges currently have relationships with about 250 industry partners. They want to quadruple that number to 1,000 each year by 2020.

Double the foundation assets to $50 million.

Presently, assets in community and technical college foundations are at $25 million. In order to help achieve the other five goals, LCTCS hopes to double foundation assets to $50 million by 2020.

This is a commendable plan because it allows students options for careers outside of the traditional university path. Anytime citizens are given options for careers the community benefits. When we can help one person on his or her path toward a better future then it is a win-win for him or her and society.(Rick Hickman/American Press)

Karen E Wink