February 16, 2021

Jump Start Convention Brings Together Economic and Education Leaders

Jump Start Convention Brings Together Economic and Education Leaders

Over one thousand Louisiana educators and industry leaders gathered virtually at the seventh annual Jump Start Convention, as reported by a Louisiana Believes press release. The convention is held annually by the Louisiana Department of Education in an effort to reflect on the progress of Louisiana’s premier CTE program, (career and technical education). This year’s theme was “Inspire. Innovate. Impact,” and though held virtually the spirit of cooperation was alive and well.

Jump Start is a career and technical training program that prepares Louisiana students to lead productive lives as adults where they are capable of continuing their education after high school while earning certificates in high-wage career sectors. Students participating in the Jump Start diploma pathway while in high school are required to earn credentials that are well-known and well-valued in the industry.

If done successfully, the graduate earns a Career Diploma, and the school in which they attended receives the same accountability grade for preparing them for careers in job sectors with high demand. This “reward” of sorts earned by the school is similar to the type they receive for students achieving top academic honors.

Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley said of the program, ““Louisiana’s graduates must be ready for a career or college when their time in high school is done. The success of our Jump Start program and of events like this convention demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every student is on track to a professional career, college degree or service.”

The convention featured a wide array of events conducted by top Louisiana Education Leaders, including a welcome from the Louisiana Department of Education Director of Quality Diplomas Jessica Vallelungo and an address titled, “State of CTE in Louisiana” by Dr. Brumley.

Additionally, the convention featured an anticipated announcement of the continuation of the impactful Jump Start Construction Connect Scholarship by Louisiana Community and Technical College System Chief Public Affairs Officer Quintin Taylor and TJC Group’s Nicholas Johnson.

Attendees of the convention participated in over 25 events that all uniquely complemented the event’s theme. One such event was the heavily-attended “Strong Start 2020 Career and Technical Education Instruction Panel,” moderated by Vallelungo. The panel included Ascension Public Schools Supervisor of Career and Technical education Rhonda Matthews, St. Landry Parish School Board Supervisor of STEAM Dr. Therese Ellender and Desoto Parish Schools Director of Student Services Dr. Darrell Hampton.

Events and panels like the “Strong Start 2020 CTE Instruction Panel” allow for regional economic leaders to gather, discuss, and share occupational forecasting for high wage, high demand careers in their economic region. In addition to this, a panel of STEM industry leaders also gather to discuss the future of the state’s workforce.

For a diploma pathway like Jumpstart, which is so highly-attained in Louisiana, it is incredibly beneficial for education leaders to hear such economic forecasts in order to ensure not only the validity of the credits and experience earned by their students. It also allows for the educational directors to ensure that graduates will leave the Jumpstart Program ready for a career in a field that is in high demand.

The annual convention also signified the inaugural class of The Louisiana DOE honored and celebrated the inaugural STEM Pathway graduating class. The Class of 2020 was the first cohort of students to successfully complete rigorous coursework designed to train them to succeed in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),  and to mark the achievement, the 23 students received a special endorsement for their diploma. Also, BESE approved additions to the JumpStart 2.0 initiative, thus expanding career courses, pathways, and industry-based certifications available to students.

For more education related information, click here.

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