BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A program, focusing on the most sought-after fields, has secured major state and private funding. Governor John Bel Edwards believes it will take Louisiana to the next level.

“You can’t just wish talent development to happen. You have to work for talent development to happen. That means we have to have more access, more success, and improved affordability,” said Louisiana Board of Regents Higher Education Commissioner Kimberly Reed.

The M.J. Foster Promise Program, powered by Entergy, is vision local leaders are painting after the Fortune 500 company committed to investing $1million dollars in the program.

“Get the skills that you need to be able to go to work and participate in this economy. It is a great day in Louisiana. Lots of firms looking to move to Louisiana. We need a workforce and this is the opportunity to grow it,” said Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) President Monty Sullivan.

Students must fill out their FAFSA and attend select trade schools or technical programs. Those who qualify could receive up to $6,400 in aid in three years.

“We don’t thrive unless our communities thrive and I believe this is a program that is designed and will function to make that happen,” said Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May.

On top of Entergy’s money, the state also will provide $10.5 million dollars from its recent budget passage.

“To seize the momentum with the MJ Foster Promise program…I think is incredibly important, which is why I’m proud of the $10.5 million dollars in state appropriations to support the program,” said Edwards.

Edwards is addressing the shortage in high demand fields.

“Like clean energy, are going to look like things like hydrogen and ammonia and biomass and wind energy and solar energy. expanding broadband,” he explained. “There are also traditional opportunities out there. We’re short in the health care field at every single occupation that you can think of.”

The State Board of Regents is aiming for 60% of the state to have some type of credential, almost double the current numbers.

“We are certainly working on dual enrollment, early college for high school students, starting college in high school. But we cannot get there without our adult population having a credential of value,” said Reed.

They said this program is like TOPS, for adults.

“They’re actually going to be able to work one job and support themselves better, have a career rather than just a job, and then all of us are going to benefit because the economy is going to be so much stronger,” said Gov. Edwards.

The M.J. Foster Promise Program is rolling out this summer. Click here to sign up.