Baton Rouge, La – September 21, 2022 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, in partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Visit Baton Rouge, is proposing $1.8 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for economic development and tourism in East Baton Rouge Parish. The program aims to improve access to employment and workforce availability coming out of the long pandemic recovery.
The program will consist of three initiatives designed to help increase access to good-paying, existing jobs for the local, adult workforce; develop the workforce of the future; and bring new attention to opportunities in Baton Rouge.
- Re/Connect to Jobs: This initiative helps all job seekers find the available jobs, goes into communities to assist and guides individuals to new upskilling and training resources.
How will it work: Hosting job fairs with wrap-around services for barriers to re-employment. Job Seeker Marketing to reach those unemployed or underemployed individuals to help them through the job search process. Community outreach services through local nonprofits with neighborhood or workforce-based programs to identify unemployed or underemployed workers.
- Youth Workforce Initiative: This program will prepare and better retain our talent with real-work experiences while they are in school, colleges, or universities.
How will it work: Connect high school and college students with internships, addressing the major challenge of employer engagement to hire more local interns. Best practices show it is possible to dramatically increase student exposure to paid internships, which are shown to increase education relevance and impact through greater exposure. This targets those disproportionately impacted industry sectors such as construction and manufacturing, hospitality, small business and back office, technology, automotive, logistics, and health care.
- National recruitment of tourists and talent: Bring more tourists and bring more talent to East Baton Rouge Parish.
How it will work: This program will launch a comprehensive effort to attract people to consider Baton Rouge for a new job or to visit and explore our quality of life, including coordinated marketing and media campaigns, resources for discovering or relearning about Baton Rouge as a community to visit and live, and integration with the online job portal to drive people toward available jobs. Visit Baton Rouge and BRAC are collaborating on an integrated external marketing strategy to promote quality of life and job opportunities in Baton Rouge for prospective talent, drive greater visitation to the market, and highlight career opportunities in the region through the BR Works regional jobs portal. This effort might be amplified locally by increasing the region’s perception of itself, thereby increasing the likelihood that young professionals will choose to stay in Baton Rouge rather than relocate.
This allocation was previously approved as broad categories by the Metropolitan Council in Spring 2022 as part of the ARPA allocations. Tonight, this specific plan will be heard before the Metropolitan Council for final approval.