Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Governor Jindal Announces Funding Hike for Higher Education

governor jindal announces funding hike for higher educationToday, Governor Bobby Jindal joined higher education leaders, including University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos, to announce a funding increase of $141.5 million for higher education institutions for the next fiscal year. Here, Gov. Jindal shakes hands with University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley.

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined higher education leaders, including University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos, to announce a funding increase of $141.5 million for higher education institutions for the next fiscal year. The funding hike represents a 6.66 percent increase over the budget for the current fiscal year. This funding includes a new higher education workforce incentive initiative of $40 million that will better prepare Louisiana students to compete in the new global economy.

The money in the incentive fund will be made available to state research institutions that produce nationally recognized commercial research and to state colleges and universities that partner with private industry to produce graduates with high-demand degrees and certificates, and enable them to link their coursework to industry needs and projected workforce demands.

Governor Jindal said, "Our higher education institutions have done an incredible job over the past six years instituting a number of reforms to help more of our students graduate. These results are a testament to the incredible work of our faculty and students at schools across Louisiana.

"The reforms are working, but it's time to redouble our efforts. We are in the midst of an economic renaissance in Louisiana. Since 2008, we have announced economic development wins that are resulting in more than 80,000 new jobs and more than $50 billion in private capital investment. Because of these job wins, more people are employed than ever before in Louisiana."

The new incentive fund will be called the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund – or WISE Fund. The funds will be made available to state research institutions that produce nationally recognized commercial research and to state colleges and universities that produce graduates with 4 and 5 STAR job ready degrees.

This performance based formula rewards and incentivizes the degrees that occupational forecasting and industry have shown are the most employable and the most in demand. To receive these funds, institutions will have to partner with private industry by recruiting at least a 20 percent private match in cash or in kind, such as technology and equipment.

"The University of New Orleans is thankful for Governor Jindal's support of higher education and the WISE Fund," said UNO President Peter J. Fos. "WISE will provide much needed resources for our programs of excellence in engineering, computer science and accounting, while enabling the university to continue to support the humanities and other academic programs, including education. The WISE funding will ensure that the University of New Orleans, a community asset, will maintain and strengthen its relationships with industry and the private sector."

President of the University of Louisiana System Sandra Woodley said, "In the University of Louisiana System, there is a deep sense of responsibility and urgency to increase the pace at our nine universities to meet growing workforce demands and to achieve national competitiveness.  We are greatly appreciative of Governor Jindal's support of the WISE plan and are committed to leveraging these new dollars, engaging in unprecedented collaboration across higher education systems, and enhancing our partnerships with business and industry to drive economic development."

Each institution will present a business plan that will demonstrate how the funds will be invested to reach the number of degrees we need as a state to fill the jobs we have now and in the next few years. And every year, each institution will be held accountable for reaching their goals to produce those degrees. Using data-driven predictive modeling with actual numbers from business and industry, experts were able to figure out how to predict how many and what level of degrees needed to meet workforce demands.

Governor Jindal said this collaboration between Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and the leaders of higher education has created a targeted investment strategy that spends dollars on the degrees needed to for the jobs coming to Louisiana.

These partnerships are already in the works at Louisiana's colleges and universities. LED recently partnered with UNO and GE Capital for the creation of the GE Capital's Software Engineering Apprenticeship program (SWEAP). By the end of 2015, GE Capital plans to hire 40 UNO students enrolled in the computer science program in apprentice positions.  SWEAP provides students at UNO with specialized training, experience and mentorship opportunities which will set them apart from other graduates.

 

Read More

GE Capital Launches Partnership with University of New Orleans to Develop a Stronger Technology Workforce
Louisiana Economic Development Corporation
Jindal announces $40 million for workforce development, The Times-Picayune
Gov. Jindal plans to pump $40 million into higher ed, The Advocate