Lawmakers OK Louisiana Workforce Bill

June 25, 2008

A bill backed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that aims to reform the state’s workforce development system won final legislative approval, the Louisiana Department of Labor announced.

The bill, HB 1104, requires the Louisiana DOL to integrate workforce development programs from across state agencies into a single, demand-driven system that meets the needs of businesses and job seekers into the future.

Louisiana Department of Labor Secretary Tim Barfield praised the initiative, saying the bill “sends a strong signal that everyone involved in workforce development in Louisiana is ready for change. The integration called for in the bill, which we have already begun to implement, will allow us to more readily meet the needs of employers and job seekers.”

Under the bill, the DOL will become the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Barfield’s title will become executive director. He will remain a member of the governor’s cabinet. The commission will continue to carry out existing DOL functions, such as administering the unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation systems, in addition to taking on the expanded role in workforce development.

Companion measures to the workforce bill strengthen the role of community and technical colleges in workforce development, address funding for worker training in high-demand sectors and improve the state’s ability to quickly respond to urgent economic development opportunities and challenges.

“By working closely with our partner agencies and other stakeholders, we can do a much better job of aligning the supply of trained workers with job vacancies and ramp up our efforts to fill the nearly 100,000 jobs that businesses can’t fill today,” Barfield said.

The agency will begin its business outreach and engagement as the Louisiana Workforce Commission in September.

Source: Louisiana Department of Labor,

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