State senator trying to take work study programs to another level

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 12, 2007


Staff Reporter

LUTCHER- State Sen. Jody Amadee (D- Gonzales) is looking to take work/study programs in St. James Parish to the next level.

At a recent school board meeting in Lutcher, Amadee introduced legislation he is proposing that would pay high school students for internships in technical fields while they receive their training.

&#8220Currently our work/study program allows students to receive job training, but they are not working to get certified in the field they are training in. With this new program, not only are students getting training in a field, they are actually hired apprentices and can work to get accredited in that field while still in high school,” said Pam Bourgeois, head of secondary education services at the St. James Parish School Board.

&#8220The program would give the kids a head start in both technical college or regular college because they are have already been partially trained, and they would get paid for their work in the process,” she said.

&#8220If a student finishes the program then they could ultimately go to work right out of school with a paper in hand that says they are certified to do an entry-level job,” she said.

The funding to pay the students would come from small businesses who pay the student internships. In return, the businesses would get a tax credit to offset the cost of the paid internships.

&#8220The businesses in the area are very excited about the potential of the program. The proposed tax credit legislation would make it beneficial to hire the students while training them in fields with a high demand,” said Bourgeois.

&#8220Currently we are in the early stages of making this happen, but should the tax credit proposal be adopted it would be a great thing for the kids so they could be sure to have the job training they need,” she said.