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Date:November 14, 2013
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National group honors Louisiana Craft Task Force for Best Practices

TUCSON, ARIZ. – Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), an industry group representing plant owners and industrial contractors in the United States and Canada, honored Louisiana’s Craft Task Force for its work in addressing Louisiana’s surge in demand for skilled workers in the industrial construction industry.

The Craft Task Force received special recognition for Best Practices at an awards dinner during CURT’s national conference in Tucson, Ariz., this week. Accepting the award were Craft Task Force Chairman Jorge Tarajano, president and CEO of the Pala Group; Task Force members Art Favre, president of Performance Contractors, and Eddie Rispone, chairman of the board of ISC Constructors; along with Workforce Investment Council Director David Helveston and Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink.

The Craft Task Force, with representatives from business and industry, organized labor, government and education, was empanelled earlier this year by the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council. The panel forecasted industry employment for the next several years, identified additional demand for labor, developed strategies for recruiting individuals into the industry and began reforming training models to meet the demand.

“While the public-private partnership is ‘best practices’ in itself, other best practices are associated with community and technical college reforms,” CURT said in a prepared statement. One key reform of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is the implementation of compressed training schedules that quickly result in industry-based certifications.

“Much work remains to be done, but it is gratifying when national groups recognize Louisiana’s public-private partnerships and workforce development efforts as models for other states,” Eysink said. “We gathered meaningful data, brought together our partners from industry, education and government and we are all pulling in the same direction.”

Read or download the Craft Task Force's report, “Building Louisiana’s Craft Workforce,” here.


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