Press Releases

January 26, 2024

The Workforce Development & Higher Education Policy Council

About the Council

The Workforce Development & Higher Education Policy Council was established at the request of Governor Jeff Landry to identify the problems that exist in Workforce Development and Higher Education in Louisiana and to discuss and propose solutions to those problems. This Council was led by Lee Mallett and included voices from across the political and policy spectrum in Louisiana. The findings listed below represent the recommendations made by the Council.

Higher Education systems are bogged down by regulations and lack necessary autonomy.
Louisiana’s higher education structure consists of four managing boards and one coordinating board. As a main economic driver, the higher education system is poised to be a key player in growing the skills of the workforce, incubating new businesses, and researching new developments in Louisiana’s industries. To facilitate economic growth, Louisiana’s university systems need to be held accountable while given autonomy, authority, and flexibility to achieve their strategic missions.

Recommended Solutions
1. Review the roles of the managing and coordinating boards to identify areas that can be
streamlined to increase autonomies and efficiencies. Additionally, a review of statutory
options to grant more flexibility to the coordinating boards is in order.

2. Identify and pursue policy changes to grant more opportunities for funding and grant
flexibility to higher education institutions in order to tackle rising deferred maintenance,
capitol campaigns, and retirement debt costs.

3. Break down barriers currently preventing cooperation between education and
workforce development agencies to create an economic master plan that aligns
strategic goals for each respective area of the workforce and economic development


Silos in government have led to inefficient workforce development.
Louisiana’s workforce participation rates, coupled with being one of the poorest states in the nation, have left job creators and job seekers in a state of turmoil. The number of government entities and lack of clear direction in workforce development have led to a disjointed effort of multiple government silos rowing in different directions, leaving the public and businesses stuck with lackluster results. If we are to create an economic revival in Louisiana, all facets of workforce and economic development must be one team with a clear goal.

Recommended Solutions
1. Centralize, streamline, and refocus workforce development initiatives under the
Louisiana Workforce Commission. With offices across Louisiana and duplication of
workforce development efforts, the council recommends consolidating these efforts under the Louisiana Workforce Commission and pursuing ways to reduce overhead
across the agency.

2. Create a task force or board with the goal of breaking down silos between government
agencies, education institutions, and private sector employers to strategically focus
initiatives on workforce development.