BRAC, LSU, and Southern come together to retain graduates through a ‘Handshake’


BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – There’s a new push to keep college students in the Baton Rouge region after they graduate.

Thursday, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, LSU, and Southern University joined forces behind Handshake, an early talent recruitment platform.

“We are excited about this platform allowing us to tap that talent early, often, and retain them in our own community,” said Stacia Haynie, LSU Vice President and Provost.

Both LSU and Southern started using Handshake in 2018. Half the students on both campuses have active profiles. The platform connects employers, talent, and colleges. It gives college students access to companies to help launch their careers while keeping them in the area and driving economic growth.

“Value added experiences go a long way in allowing institutions of higher education to work side by side with businesses such that we can appropriately address their workforce needs,” said Dr. Ray Belton, Southern University President-Chancellor.

There are 489 active employer profiles in the region. That equals to only three percent of the businesses in the Baton Rouge area. Now, there’s a push to get more businesses to get involved.

Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO, said “If you don’t have one yet, create a paid internship and start recruiting actively through handshake as a platform.”

BRAC is pursuing similar agreements with the region’s other postsecondary institutions – Baton Rouge Community College, FranU and River Parishes Community College – to create a holistic collaborative aimed at tracking local internships and experiential learning opportunities and to strengthen relationships between the region’s employers, education institutions and students.

More information about Handshake, the partnership and upcoming workshops is available here.


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