In response to Louisiana’s workforce development needs, attention is diverted to linkages with community-/faith-based development related needs. Within GSU’s Office of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning (CELL), the unit of Economic & Workforce Development (EWD) functions to enhance the quality of life for citizens throughout North Louisiana through the following items and/or projects—spearheaded by GSU’s CareerNET Center--are noted in this unit.
Cited as one of the ‘Best Practices’ relative to operating an Adult Basic Education Program—and was featured by the Louisiana Departments of Education (LDOE) and Labor (LDOL) as a demonstration/training facility—the GSU CareerNET Center spearheads GSU’s EWD efforts through the following activities: Adult Basic Education (ABE); Contract Training (CT); and, the Incumbent Workers Training (IWT) Program.
GSU has engaged in training ventures with local/regional employers desiring to enhance the skills of their employees. Programs are customized to meet the needs of the employer and arranged at a time that is convenient for the clients. Training is conducted throughout the year and can range from customer service to strengthening personal computer skills. Training is conducted by GSU staff or faculty from various campus units and facilitated by the Office of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning (CELL). Employers in need of customized training are encouraged to contact CELL by calling 318.274.6141 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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GSU has been actively engaged in creating job opportunities for individuals residing in depressed economic regions of North Louisiana through unique external grant funding entities. Two (2) projects with a focus on economic/workforce development include: Creating Honorable Opportunities for Individuals through Community, Education, and Service (CHOICES); and, Expanding Minority Entrepreneurship Regionally Across the Louisiana Delta (EMERALD).
CHOICES—a collaboration between GSU faculty in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Professional Studies along with staff from the Office of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning in Partnership with New Living Word Ministries (NLWM), Inc. located in Ruston (LA)—is a demonstration project that has created a seamless transition model for ex-offenders transitioning back into communities and their families. This project was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (Office of Justice Programs) in 2009 in the amount of $200,000.
EMERALD—a collaboration between GSU’s College of Business and the Office of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning in Partnership with 6 different community-/faith-based non-profit organizations located in North Central and Northeast LA—is a project designed to increase the number of minority small business owners and entrepreneurs. This project was funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2008 ($250,000) inclusive of subsequent funding in 2010 ($237,500)