Louisiana’s Growing Talent: Available Workforce for Agribusiness
The state’s rich agricultural history, when joined with higher education, ensures companies in the agribusiness industry have access to a highly skilled labor pool. The state’s flagship university, Louisiana State University (LSU), is one of the few land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant universities in the nation. Many faculty members at the university’s College of Agriculture are jointly appointed with the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station or the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. Close proximity to these experts is an asset to agribusiness.
Investments in Education and Research Support Workforce
Community and technical college programs, coupled with research university curricula, provide Louisiana’s agribusiness workforce with strong skills, background and expertise. Louisiana universities already have strong connections to agribusiness sectors. Seventeen university-run research stations located throughout the state conduct groundbreaking research and offer economic resources to companies.
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Specialty food product ventures can also benefit from technical support and the latest research from experts in the Food Science Department and School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU. In South Louisiana, Nicholls State University partnered with Chef John Folse to create a Culinary Arts program — merging food science with culinary arts.
ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston selected Delhi, where the sweet potato processing facility opened in fall 2010, because of its close proximity and easy access to the LSU Agricultural Center’s scientists. The company formed a research partnership with the center’s Sweet Potato Research Station — the only facility of its kind devoted to sweet potato development — in conjunction with their new sweet potato processing facility in Northeast Louisiana. Their goal is to develop a more disease-resistant variety of sweet potato that is less prone to bruise during harvesting and processing.
LED FastStart Delivers Customized Workforce Solutions
LED FastStart®, the nation’s best state workforce recruitment and training program, works with eligible new and expanding Louisiana-based operations to ensure that they have a highly qualified, trained workforce from day one — all at no cost to the company. FastStart has designed and delivered customized workforce solutions for a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies across multiple industry sectors. In particular, the team has managed hundreds of workforce programs in multiple states for leading companies like Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, American Woodmark Corporation, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, Folgers, Zagis and many more.
“FastStart’s capabilities should clinch decision making for firms looking for a place to expand or create new operations. It can make that decision-making process much easier for employers if they understand the value that this program can provide to them.”