Baton Rouge leaders say BRCC programs can help labor shortage

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A new study by Baton Rouge Community College shows the college has a $300 million economic impact.

Data indicates the college accounts for more than 4,500 jobs in the greater Baton Rouge area. That’s one out of every 90 jobs supported by the school and students. 

“BRCC’s $300 million annual impact is a result of 42.5 in opera spending. $18 million in student spending and $237 million in added alumni income,” said Dr. Willie Smith, chancellor for Baton Rouge Community College.

Technical degrees are the main focus for jobs in high demand like healthcare, construction and computer technology. The study shows associate graduates earn over $11 thousand more in annual income than someone with a high school diploma.

“The results of this study underscore the major impact BRCC has on our community and emphasize why supporting this institution must be a top priority, especially given the labor shortage and workforce needs we’re seeing today,” said Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp.

Graduate Jennifer Burgess gives credit to the program for helping her land a job at IBM.

“I promise you the grass is greener on the other side,” Burgess said. “Don’t give up. If you find yourself stagnant in a position and you want more out of life, then go ahead and take that step.”

Knapp said this is great news for pandemic recovery. He said BRCC offers skills people need to fill those open jobs post-pandemic. 

“We have 39, close to 40 thousand jobs that are posted for employers looking for workers but we need more workers in the economy,” he said.

“One of the roles BRCC can play to help our economy recover from the pandemic is to find opportunities for those individuals who have stopped out, dropped out or who have not gotten their degrees certificates or certifications,” said Dr. Lisa S. Williams, Associate Commissioner for Workforce Education and Training Louisiana Board of Regents.

BRCC is also working with K-12 schools to emphasize the importance of higher education early on.

The full economic impact study is available here.

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