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About Workforce Development                               

Board 83



The Workforce Development Board SDA-83, Inc. (WDB-83), established through federal and state legislative action and incorporated in January 1988.  The WDB-83 assists the Governor with advancing Louisiana’s workforce system by aligning workforce policy and integrating workforce program service delivery to ensure the workforce system is responsive to business and job seekers.  The Board is staffed and supported by an Executive Director and thirty-three (33) outstanding professionals striving to support the mission of WDB-83.


During the 2017-18 funding period, WDB-83 had 23 board members who were appointed by the Chief Elected Official (Union Parish Policy Jury President) in accordance with the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) rules and state guidelines. As required by WIOA, the Board’s membership represents private businesses, labor and apprenticeship organizations, community-based organizations, adult education services, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, and post-secondary education. 


A majority of WDB-83 membership is represented by private sector businesses.  The WDB-83 Chair also represents private business.  Each member of the Board serves either a three or two-year staggered term.



2017 Board Membership


Business Representatives – Majority


Dan Wallace – Owner                             T.Bernette Wright – Adm. Serv.                 Amanda McManus – Assist VP/HR

Wallace Moulding                                    Mgr.  Myriant                                             Franklin State Bank

Manufacturing                                         Manufacturing                                           Banking & Finance

Caldwell Parish                                       East Carroll Parish                                    Franklin Parish

9/30/15 -9/30/18                                      9/30/17-9/30-19                                        9/30/15 -9/30/18


Sandra Billings – Administrator               Douglas Curtis – Owner                           Steve Henderson - Regional VP *

Forest Haven Nursing & Rehab              Doug’s Market                                          Big River Rice and Grain

Healthcare                                               Grocery/Retail Parish Driver                    Manufacturing

Jackson Parish                                        Madison Parish                                        Morehouse Parish

9/30/17 – 9/30/19                                    9/30/15 – 9/30/18                                     9/30/15 – 9/30/18


Lauren Rogers – VP Operations             Patrick Savage – Sales/Integr.                Michael Carroll - CEO       

Delta Healthcare Management               Delta Ridge Implement                            Richland Parish Hospital

Healthcare                                              Agriculture – Parish Driver                       Healthcare Morehouse Parish                                Morehouse Parish                                  Richland Parish                                        Richland Parish

09/30/17 -9/30/19                                   9/30/17 – 9/30/19                                     9/30/15 – 9/30/18

Jerilyn Kelly – VP/Manager                    Tim Tettleton – VP/Manager                    Fred Eubanks – HR Manager              

Cottonland Ins./Tensas Bank                 Origin Bank                                              Hydro Extrusions

Banking & Finance                                 Banking & Finance                                  Manufacturing

Tensas Parish                                        Union Parish                                            Richland Parish

9/30/17 – 9/30/19                                   9/30/17 – 9/30/19                                    9/30/15 – 9/30/18

Workforce Representatives


Gerry Mims – Member                           Ken Green – Manager                               John Hopkins - Director   

United Steel Workers Local                    IBEW Local 446                                        LA AFL-CIO JACT Apprenticeship

Jackson Parish                                       Regional                                                    Regional

9/30/15 – 9/30/18                                   9/30/17 – 9/30/3019                                   9/30/15 – 9/30/18                         

Rosie Brown – Exec Director                 Jasher Blocker – Prg. Mgr.                                           

East Carroll CAA – OS Youth                Wellspring Veterans Services

East Carroll                                            Regional                             

9/30/15 -9/30/18                                     9/30/17 – 9/30/19

Education & Training Representatives


M. Scott Cox – Campus Director                                                                     Vicki Wheelis – Core Services Director

Louisiana Delta Community College                                                                LA Delta Community College - DeltaLINC

Madison Parish                                                                                                Regional

9/30/15/ -9/30/18                                                                                              9/30/17 – 9/30/19



To provide an effective local service delivery system that equips job seekers with the skills needed to achieve their long-term employment goals; and businesses with the workforce required to be competitive in the global economy.





Our community will view us as the leader for innovative workforce solutions by providing business access to a skilled workforce and job seekers access to meaningful employment.

Workforce Development Board 83

Executive Director Report



Program year 2017-2018 was a year of continued excellence, spotlighting the success and growth of the sector partnership, Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance, as a national and statewide “best practice”.  Continuing implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Healthcare Professions Opportunity Grant (PHOCAS Project) and other programs designed to build workforce skills and place job seekers in local businesses has resulted in increases in both the number of individuals placed in jobs, and their average annual salary upon placement.  It has been a year that has seen tremendous community partnership expansion and collaboration in several areas.


The Workforce Development Board SDA-83, Inc. demands the highest standard for financial integrity.  The total budget for the period ending June 30, 2018 was $5,381,978.00 which included $527,220.00 carryover funds from the prior year and new allocations for the fiscal year for both WIOA, PHOCAS, Ticket-to-Work, and SP National Emergency Grant.  The following is a breakdown of the new allocations by funding stream: Adult - $660,604.00, Youth - $644,238.00, Disl. Worker - $430,373.00, PHOCAS - $2,770,000.00, Ticket-to-Work - $10,718.00, SP NEG - $196,883.00 and PHOCAS Impact - $89,987.00.  The audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 was completed during this program year and once again, the fiscal staff passed with flying colors as there were no audit findings.  The accounting firm of Heard, McElroy, and Vestal, LLP has been approved by the Legislative Auditor to conduct the 2017-18 financial audit.  The start date for this audit is scheduled for September 24, 2018.


Since 2016, WDB-83 has been at the forefront in developing and implementing sector-based employment strategies in Healthcare and an emerging Manufacturing partnership.  The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas featured our sector partnership in a Case Study published on July 26, 2018.

( Additionally, the Next Gen Sector Partnership Group selected WDB-83 (Convener) and its NELA Healthcare Alliance - Champion, Mr. Jonathan Phillips, CEO, University Health – Conway, as presenters/ panelist representing the healthcare sector for an invitation only NEXT GEN Advanced Convener training conference held in Chicago, Illinois on June 2018.  This conference highlighted the nations sector partnership “best practices” and provided training and guidance for maintaining industry engagement by utilizing the Next Gen Sector Partnership model practices and tools.


Regional recognition for the work being done by WDB-83 was again evidenced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas inviting the WDB-83 Executive Director to serve on a Workforce Development panel at the Northeast Louisiana Inclusion Summit.  The summit brought regional partners together to address the economic needs and challenges facing this vastly rural region of the state. The imperative message for the citizens of our workforce development area is to access and utilize the services and training opportunities afforded through our ten Business and Career Solution Centers.


Other highlights for the 2017-18 program year included the on-boarding of a One-stop Operator acquired through the mandated Request for Proposal (RFP) procurement process. Louisiana Delta Community College was the successful applicant and assigned personnel to serve in this capacity.  The One-Stop Operator is responsible for ensuring a seamless delivery of services from all WIOA partners.  Another milestone for the year, was the certification of the Comprehensive One-Stop – the Morehouse Business and Career Solutions Center as well as the nine satellite center certifications.  Each center received the grade of “Certification” which is the second highest ranking.  The One-Stop Operator and the Local Area Coordinator, along with our partner agencies are working toward a “Standard of Excellence” grade.


WDB-83, a workforce board “trail blazer” in strategic planning, not only the first board to go before the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council in 2015 to present a request to merge the former WDB-82 with WDB-83, petitioned the Governor in early 2017 to become the provider of Career Services.  With approval from the Governor granted, all employees from Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers, (the former procured contractor for WIOA services) transitioned to the Workforce Development Board SDA-83, Inc.  Because of the rural demographics of Workforce Development Area 83, the Board determined that this request was necessary to ensure quality services, because of a lack of interested, qualified parties with appropriate knowledge to provide services, and to reduce excessive audit costs (administrative costs) required by the contractual agreement and the federal auditing requirements.   WIOA career services are now under the oversight of WDB-83 with day to day operations becoming the responsibility of the WIOA Program Director.


Finally, I would like to recognize all of our partner agencies, career centers and PHOCAS staff, board staff, and board members who work hard to ensure our workforce delivery area has a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of business and industry.  There is still work to be done and we will continue to strive for excellence. 


I believe the best is yet to come!




Terri Mitchell

Executive Director

Workforce Development Board 83

Healthcare Professions Opportunity Grant




Program Performance Indicators

Enrollment:                                                      182

Healthcare Training:                                        191 (includes those going into 2nd Healthcare Training)

Healthcare Training Completions:                   115

First-time employed in Healthcare:                   78


Successful Practice


Essential Skills

PHOCAS hosts monthly Essential Skills workshops in response to an overwhelming need expressed by the NELA Healthcare Alliance, a group of regional healthcare partners that act as an advisory board for WDB83, for a better equipped workforce.  Along with employment focused skills, other topics are covered to enhance participant’s abilities to acclimate and exhibit positive behavior and to empower individuals to effectively cope with the stresses and trials of daily life, especially while attending a healthcare training program. 


Healthcare has evolved such that interpersonal dynamics cannot be ignored.  The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people.  While a person’s technical skills may get their foot in the door, essential skills are what will continue to open doors and help them retain employment.  Work ethic, attitude, communication, emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes make up the essential skills that are crucial for career success. 


PHOCAS Essential Skills Workshops are structured to improve student success, foster connections amongst peers, promote program retention, and introduce job-readiness skills.  Each Essential Skills Workshop is held at a location and time convenient to the students, with childcare and food provided as needed.  Some areas have better attendance at a Lunch & Learn while others prefer an evening time workshop.  As a result of great partnerships with WIOA and Louisiana Delta Community College, workshops are held on the local campuses, the local American Job Center, or a community building if necessary.  Due to the rural geographic layout of the region PHOCAS serves, every effort is being made to meet the students not only where they learn, but also where they live.  Priority is given to exposing participants to work readiness skills identified by regional healthcare industry partners as essential skills required to being a good employee. 


Sector Partnership

Region 8 Workforce Boards 81 and 83 value the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) priority for collaboration for regional industry-focused approaches to the workforce and economic development sector strategies under WIOA.  Region 8 is a leader in the state for designing and developing the first sector partnership initiative in Louisiana.  Sector partnerships are a way for multiple healthcare organizations to come together around important issues. They are a place to collectively address issues related to shared vitality; a single table at which to work with multiple community programs in education, workforce development and economic development; and an opportunity to help create solutions to shared pressing issues.  WDB-83 aims to capitalize on the promising opportunities identified through the initiative. 


The NELA Healthcare Alliance represents nearly forty diverse healthcare organizations in Northeast Louisiana. The alliance is made up of hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health organizations and others who provide critically needed healthcare to community members.  These healthcare organizations have come together in an ongoing network to tackle the most pressing healthcare issues of this region including workforce issues, networking opportunities, and pressing policy topics that warrant a collective action. 


We have 4 committees:

  • Steering Committee

  • Policy Committee

  • Acute Care Committee

  • Education & Training Committee


Each committee was developed in response to noncompetitive issues identified by the industry partners at the first NELA Healthcare Alliance Meeting.  Originally, 6 or 7 committees were identified, but some subsided due to lack of interest.  The Alliance meets on a quarterly basis and discusses noncompetitive issues and hears report- outs of each committee’s work.  Action items/next steps are determined and the work for each committee begins (or continues).  Each of these committees are co-lead by an industry partner and a support partner (Workforce Development, Education, Economic Development). 


PHOCAS 2.0 is also sharing in the industry partners’ knowledge of existing and anticipated shortages in the healthcare industry within our region.  This sort of information coming from this sector partnership allows PHOCAS to utilize the sector partnership as an advisory committee and continues to shaping our program as we move forward. We have learned immensely from our healthcare industry partners and are eager to continue working to meet their ever-changing needs by through the power of coordination, support partners from education, economic development, workforce development and other community organizations.    


As a facilitator and support partner, WDB-83 welcomes the opportunity to listen, understand, and meet our regional healthcare employer’s rudimentary needs.  Also, PHOCAS (WDB-83) was asked to share our employer engagement strategies through sector partnerships at the 2018 Region V – VII State TANF Technical Assistance Meeting July 20, 2018 in Prior Lake, Minnesota.


Future Goals:

Additional Enrollment of 320 participants for a total of 983 participants.

Additional 225 participants to enroll into healthcare training for a total of 951.

Additional 287 participants to complete healthcare training for a total of 600.

Additional 400 individuals to obtain healthcare employment for a total of 600.

Workforce Development Board 83

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)





One-Stop Service Delivery System


The Business and Career Solutions Centers (BCSC) of LWDA-83 offer a broad range of enhanced service delivery through WIOA and partners. BCSC staff works diligently with target populations to provide career services and job-seeker assistance, reemployment services to unemployment insurance claimants, labor market information, and evaluation and skill assessments.   Business Services Team members work to fill and place job orders and listings for employers.  The centers adopted the new USDOL logo, “A Proud Partner of the American Job Center Network”, reminding customers and businesses the services available are linked to requirements established through the U.S. Department of Labor and are consistent with the activities of workforce centers across the 10-parish area and state.  Louisiana Workforce Commission hosts an online portal, Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE), which provides virtual job matching services, labor market information, employment resources, career development information, access to the Unemployment Insurance system, and more, with system availability online 24/7, at no cost to users, to over five thousand (5,358) self-service, registered job seekers in PY17.   Additionally, the website allows individuals to explore careers, connecting students, employers, experienced professionals and educators for career pathway planning.


BCSCs efforts address participant eligibility across all ten parishes to determine opportunities to leverage funds and activities that lead to an increase in the total number of participants receiving subsidies with WIOA funds for training and other workforce development supports. During the PY17 period a total of 2,001 individuals registered to receive assistance at the Business & Career Solutions Centers. While the overall participation seems low, without review of data and processes, it is difficult to understand the opportunities or challenges to increase this target. An immediate area of concern is increasing the number of dislocated workers entering the program. LWDA-83 has one of the highest unemployment rates in Louisiana (7.5% in June 2018) and we know there is room for improvement. There is commitment from our BCSC staff, our partners and providers to give special attention to addressing ways we can increase impact and outcomes area wide.  The unemployment rate, poverty, and economic challenges are but a few reasons WDB-83 is committed to building a stronger workforce system. 


Performance Accountability


WDB-83 negotiated local levels of performance in PY 2017 and unrelentingly pursued the performance accountability measures to deliver better liability of WIOA funds.  Performance for Program Year 2017 (at this time PY17 Q3 is available) consists of individuals served in the program and individuals who exited the program.




Entered Employment Rate, 2nd Quarter After Exit      72.3%

Entered Employment Rate, 4th Quarter After Exit       74.4%

Median Earnings               $6,074

Credential Attainment         90.5%

Measurable Skills Gain       44.9%


Entered Employment Rate, 2nd Quarter After Exit     65.0%

Entered Employment Rate, 4th Quarter After Exit      65.5%

Median Earnings               $7,329

Credential Attainment       100.0%

Measurable Skills Gain       88.9%


Entered Employment Rate, 2nd Quarter After Exit     73.3%

Entered Employment Rate, 4th Quarter After Exit      83.3%

Median Earnings               $2,504

Credential Attainment         66.7%

Measurable Skills Gain       48.9%

Career Services

During Program Year 2017, LWDA-83’s BCSCs served a total of 2,001 individuals. Males comprised 49 percent and females made up 51 percent of the population served. The majority of the individuals served, 1,777, received career services designed to connect jobseekers to employers. The remaining 224 individuals, were provided more targeted training services to increase their skill levels, particularly among individuals with barriers to obtaining competitive employment. Targeted services included on-the-job training, training provided through individual training accounts, or training provided by employers through customized training contracts in which employers agreed to employ or retain the individual(s) being trained. As such, the priority population for PY 2017 included 100% individuals with low-income, 6% of individuals with a disclosed disability, and 25% individuals with no high school diploma/equivalency.


Business Services

BCSCs continued to pursue innovative approaches that would produce long-term performance in the workforce system and to provide cost-effective outcomes for job seekers and businesses while supporting the local economy. Overall 348 employers were actively registered in program year 2017.  To fulfill the Board’s overarching mission to develop a more highly skilled workforce and increase regional economic growth, local workforce staff have worked with employers to help fill open positions by the recruiting of qualified candidates. Employers were offered the use of interview space in all 10 BCSCs, as well as provided a pre-screening service of applicants and referrals of the most qualified applicants to save time and money during the hiring process.  Business outreach efforts included assisting with hiring events and hosting quarterly “Lunch & Learn” sessions with topics of interest to local employers. 


Youth Services

Youth participants were offered activities such as high school equivalency education, work experience, occupational skills training, on-the-job training and mentorship opportunities. A total of 71 youth received services to enhance their current and future endeavors.  WDB-83 completed PY 2017 having met the 20% work activity expenditure requirement.  Participants received up to 30 hours a week of paid work experience and were paid entry-level hourly wages.  The WIOA initiative provided work experience for 13 youth.  One innovative technique applied is providing bonuses and incentives to Youth who show increase in their basic skills scores, successfully complete a WE assignment, earn their high school equivalency, and become employed on unsubsidized employment. BCSC staff worked with each eligible Youth participant to develop a comprehensive Individual Service Strategy (ISS) that led to positive outcomes for these younger customers by setting obtainable goals and objectives.