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Date:November 18, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Louisiana, Mississippi Consortium $2.3 Million Grant to Improve Labor Market Information

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Workforce Commission today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $2,279,393 Labor Market Information Improvement Grant that will benefit both Louisiana and Mississippi in producing comprehensive labor market information on green jobs in the region.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission and Mississippi’s Department of Employment Security, along with partners Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University, formed a consortium to apply for the grant.

As project lead, the LWC will receive $865,129, with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security receiving $530,825.

Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University will conduct research for the project while working in consultation with the two workforce agencies. LSU will receive $838,221, and MSU will receive $45,217.

“We would like to thank the USDOL for this grant and for recognizing both Louisiana and Mississippi’s potential for growth in the green economy,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “With this grant, we can better understand the requirements of green occupations and ensure that we are training workers to meet these needs.”

The grant will enable Louisiana and Mississippi to produce labor market information focused on the biofuels industry; the renewable electric power industry; the energy-efficient building, construction and retrofit industries; the energy efficient and advanced drive train industry; the energy efficient assessment industry; and the sustainable manufacturing industry.

A primary component of the grant will be a survey of 10,000 employers in each state to obtain feedback on hiring needs for green jobs. Other initiatives include interviewing industry groups and employers to determine their current and future workforce and labor market information needs. University and technical college systems in Louisiana and Mississippi also will be interviewed to determine the current availability of training for green jobs and plans to provide training for new and emerging green occupations.

Results from this research will be provided to the Workforce Investment Boards, economic development agencies and other stakeholders who are key to driving growth of the green sector.

All data collected and estimates produced during the project will be incorporated into Mississippi and Louisiana’s existing labor exchange systems. In-demand green occupations will be highlighted throughout both state’s systems.

As a current leader in the energy industry, the region possesses the infrastructure, knowledge base and institutions needed to lead the nation in developing these industries, LWC noted in the grant application.

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