BASTROP – Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Executive Director Ava Dejoie visited the Morehouse Business & Career Solutions Center (BCSC) in Bastrop, as part of her recent trip to the Monroe and Shreveport areas.
Dejoie and other LWC staff members met with Terri Mitchell, Director of Workforce Development Board 83, as well as local officials, community leaders and three area residents who have benefited from LWC programs and services.
Donald Sneed, a 55-year-old truck driver, received his Commercial Drivers’ License training with the help of Angela Marshall, Career Coordinator for the BCSC. Sneed is now working as a truck driver and credits Marshall with helping him get to the next level in his career.
“I couldn’t have done it without Ms. Angela,” he said. “I was fortunate that they were able to reach out to me. I am really blessed. They even checked in with me to see how I was adjusting.” Sneed continued, “This is an excellent program. I think it would be great if more people would take advantage of these programs.”
Dejoie commended Sneed on his accomplishments, saying, “We are so happy for you.”
“I’m happy for myself,” Sneed replied.
Another resident who shared his experiences with Dejoie was Gerald Houston, a youth participant who received training by also working with Marshall. After earning his HiSET, he went through two successful Work Experience positions and is now attending Louisiana Delta Community College.
“I’m working on my second semester at welders’ school. I love it,” Houston said.
Dejoie praised Houston for his commitment to his craft. “You’ve got a whole slew of people here pulling for you,” she said.
Mitchell also expressed her respect for the young man, saying, “It’s hard to find youths who are committed.”
Another resident, Michelle Roberson, completed her Registered Nurse (RN) training via a Health Profession Opportunity Grant. She is currently working as an RN and is planning on pursuing her master’s degree. Roberson worked closely with Alice Wilkie, WDB 83 Student Liaison, during her training.
“I cannot say enough good things about her,” Roberson said.
Dejoie praised Roberson, adding that occupations in the healthcare field are some of the most in-demand jobs today. “Healthcare leads the pack in the growth industry,” she said.
Dejoie then expressed her gratitude to the three residents for sharing their stories. “Everyone has challenging days in their careers, but days like this are so encouraging for me,” she said. “It’s humbling and inspiring to be with you all. It’s the local folks that make this work. Big cities can learn a lot from small communities – the way they wrap their arms around people.”
The Morehouse BCSC is one of 59 locations across the state that provides resources to those searching for work, including employment referrals, skills assessments, career counseling and informational services. Last year, BCSCs were responsible for placing more than 172,000 jobseekers into employment.
To learn more about the Business & Career Solutions Centers in your area, visit laworks.net.
About The Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.