EXPANDING OUR VISION OF TALENT IN THE PROSPERITY PIPELINE
Reaching our talent development goal requires that we expand the pool of talent to be developed. A strong PK-12 to college pipeline alone will not get us there. The work must prioritize all potential student populations – elementary and secondary students, working adults, and adults out of the workforce in order to create a lifelong Prosperity Pipeline. Without this pipeline serving Louisiana’s citizens, our state will continue to miss opportunities for better livelihoods and stronger communities.
Given existing low attainment levels, the state must prioritize the education and training of our large adult population who currently have some or no college. Bringing them into postsecondary education and to a credential of value will improve their individual lives and boost standards of living across the state.
Louisiana’s incarcerated population, currently the second-highest in the nation at 1,052 per 100,000 residents, is another critical group to draw into postsecondary education. This is consistent with national and state emphases on prison reform, driven by the knowledge that approximately 84.8% of this population in Louisiana will return to live in our communities. Preparing these individuals for life after incarceration – releasing them with training, skills, and opportunities – decreases the chance of recidivism, raises their earning potential, and sets them on a positive path for the future, all while decreasing the state’s levels of investment in incarceration.
Other populations needing additional support to meet their full potential include foster youth, people aged 18-24 not working or in school (opportunity youth), and working residents of any age who are seeking additional skills. All should find encouragement and support to earn the credentials needed to realize their ambitions.
Our Talent Imperative includes a relentless commitment to today’s students – the traditional secondary-to-postsecondary, first-in-family, working parents in need of training/retraining, adults in rural communities, returning veterans, and the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. Our goal is to provide renewed hope and a vision for their future. For Louisiana, promoting postsecondary success across all population sectors is foundational, increasing our ability to attract and grow 21st-century business and industry and developing the talent to fuel our economy.