While for many the summer is an opportunity for rest and relaxation, about 75 Caddo Parish students used the summer months to explore their future career interests and earn a little cash. Caddo Parish was among several districts across Louisiana to participate in the Jump Start Summer initiative.
Funded through a $2.8 million grant made available to school systems by the Louisiana Department of Education, Caddo offered students opportunities to learn more about five careers directly aligned to workforce needs in Northwest Louisiana and earn industry-based credentials.
Students who participated in the program received $2,100 and an additional $50 for each industry-based credential earned. Caddo students were able to learn more about automotive technology, general business, emergency medical response, culinary arts and marketing/ entrepreneurship. In addition to classwork, students were required to job shadow an individual in the field of interest.
“For our students, it is imperative to not only receive education in skills that will directly be used in the workforce, but for our students to have the opportunity to earn a living wage in the process,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “The Jump Start Summer program allows students to earn money during the summer while having the potential to come out of this initiative employable in our own community.”
Last year the state launched a pilot version of the Jump Start Summer program to wide success. The move has been celebrated by businesses across the state as employers seek individuals who industry-aligned skills.
Statewide approximately 1,900 students were selected to participate in the Jump Start Summer initiative. Funds were made possible by the Supplemental Course Allocation of the Minimum Foundation Program or MFP. The courses are designed to appeal to students both on the traditional high school diploma pathway and students seeks a Jump Start diploma.