Fri, 1 April, 2011

Foundation announces Cenla Work Ready Network

The Rapides Foundation announces the Cenla Work Ready Network, a new effort to prepare high school students for careers in the workplace.

“The Cenla Work Ready Network is a two-pronged system designed to link education and workforce development efforts and align them with regional economic needs,” said Joe Rosier, CEO and president of The Rapides Foundation.

The goals of the Cenla Work Ready Network are for all Central Louisiana high school students to receive work-ready certificates and to increase the number of students who receive industry-based certifications. The work is being funded by The Rapides Foundation through a grant to The Orchard Foundation, a nonprofit local education fund that works with school districts, businesses and communities to improve educational opportunities in Central Louisiana.

Business and education leaders from Rapides, Grant and Avoyelles parishes gathered recently to hear details about the new effort and learn how they could support and be part of the Cenla Work Ready Network. Additional informational meetings are being scheduled in the remaining parishes served by The Rapides Foundation.

One component of the Cenla Work Ready Network is to provide Career Ready 101 courseware to all high schools in nine Central Louisiana parishes. Career Ready 101 is designed to prepare high school students for the WorkKeys test, a job skills assessment system that employers use to select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce.

Career Ready 101 is being piloted in more than 20 schools this spring, with plans for all high schools in Central Louisiana to be using the courseware by the 2011-12 school year. The grant funding also allows students to take the WorkKeys test without charge, an assessment which could result in a National Career Readiness Certificate, a credential that proves the student has essential workplace skills when applying for a job.

The second component of the network is to increase the number of students receiving industry-based certifications. The goal of this component is for high school students to learn skills that prepare them to be career-ready at graduation. To accomplish this goal, partnerships between business leaders and high schools are being sought so more students can acquire industry-based certifications prior to graduation.

Business leaders can work with The Orchard Foundation to identify BESE-approved industry-based certification curricula that match to the skills needed to be employed in the industry. Grant funding from The Rapides Foundation also provides matching funds to implement the industry-based certification curricula. Businesses interested in learning more about providing industry-based certifications in the Central Louisiana region, should contact The Orchard Foundation at 318-767-6560. Print

Join our mailing list

Sign up to receive news and updates from The Rapides Foundation delivered to your inbox.