2010 RANKINGS: Louisiana Leads In Workforce Training

Louisiana has come out on top of Business Facilities’ new ranking of state workforce traning programs, released today. The Bayou State grabbed the top slot in this new rankings category with its FastStart program.

“Louisiana has established the gold standard for workforce training solutions with its innovative FastStart program,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers.

“The availability of customized workforce recruitment, screening and training rapidly is becoming a requirement for success in the competition for new business.” Rogers noted. “Louisiana is far ahead of the curve with a fully integrated program that works in partnership with higher education in a coordinated economic development strategy that targets growth sectors. We are pleased to reward this effort with the top ranking in our Workforce Training Leaders category.”

Tax credits and similar traditional incentives often are the first tool in the box that is put to use in sealing the deal for a relocation or new facility. However, many states now recognize that providing targeted workforce training potentially is the most valuable and productive incentive they can put on the table.

FastStart provides workforce recruitment, screening and training to new and expanding companies—all at no cost. Louisiana’s innovative and customized programs are available to companies that meet eligibility requirements and are aligned with the state’s economic development targets, including digital media, headquarters and business operations, service industries, advanced and traditional manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, and research and development.

To qualify, a facility must first commit to creating a net of at least 15 new, permanent manufacturing jobs, or a net of at least 50 new, permanent service-related jobs. Service industries, headquarters and business operations, and warehouse and distribution companies also must have a majority of sales out of state. Each request is evaluated prior to project commencement to ensure all eligibility requirements are met.

Louisiana FastStart’s partners include the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and local colleges and universities—a unique model that enables streamlined, efficient pre-employment training, and access to a network of adult education resources.

Also in the top tier in Business Facilities’ new workforce training ranking is Florida’s Quick Response Training Program (QRT), which provides grant funding for customized training for new or expanding businesses. Workforce Florida, Inc. administers the program. An employer-driven training program, QRT has provided customized training for well over 100,000 employees for more than 300 businesses throughout the state, jump-starting new ventures and easing the way for expansions.

Here are the full results for Business Facilities’ Workforce Training Leaders ranking: