Louisiana’s FastStart, Quick Start Tops in Workforce Training
Once again, innovative programs in Louisiana and Georgia are the cream of the crop among Workforce Training Leaders. Louisiana’s FastStart and Georgia’s Quick Start again finished first and second, respectively, in the Workforce Training Leaders category in Business Facilities’ 2012 State Rankings Report.
“Louisiana’s FastStart continues to be the gold standard for workforce training programs, which increasingly are an essential element in successful economic development projects,” said Business Facilities’ Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “Businesses relocating to Louisiana can be certain they will have strong support from the state in acquiring and training skilled workers.”
Rounding out the top five in our state ranking of Workforce Training Leaders are Florida, New Mexico and North Carolina.
To date, FastStart has completed nearly 70 major projects for expanding companies in Louisiana. The projects touch a variety of sectors, from agribusiness to digital media software development and corporate headquarters expansions. Often, the program becomes the key reason why companies choose to expand or relocate in Louisiana rather than another state or nation.
FastStart, which is run by Louisiana Economic Development (LED), was launched in 2008 to help attract and develop workers for new projects. One of its first successes was helping convince Gardner Denver Inc. to not close its Thomas Products Division plant in Louisiana, but rather to expand it by moving production from Wisconsin. LED FastStart became the key factor in convincing Gardner Denver to keep its Louisiana plant open, retaining 70 jobs and adding 200 new positions.
As part of a strategic incentive package, FastStart hosted job fairs and open houses in Monroe to build interest in the new jobs, and the FastStart team traveled to Wisconsin, where they performed key business analysis—-defining behavior and competency requirements for the new jobs-—and documented essential steps needed for a seamless transition from Wisconsin to Louisiana.
Caterpillar, Baxter International, Outdoor Network LLC, NCR, Kia Motors and ZF Industries all have identified Georgia’s Quick Start program as a key reason for choosing to locate their facilities in the state.
Quick Start provides intensive, specified training to give companies the skilled employees they need to open quickly and run efficiently. These services come at no cost to qualified new companies or those adding new jobs or technology. The basic rule is that manufacturers can receive Quick Start benefits if they create at least 15 jobs over a 12-month period.
Here are the top 10 states in our Workforce Training Leaders rankings category:
BUSINESS FACILITIES 2012 STATE RANKINGS REPORT:
WORKFORCE TRAINING LEADERS
4 NEW MEXICO
5 NORTH CAROLINA
8 SOUTH CAROLINA
10 NEW HAMPSHIRE