Cohort of teacher externships gives educators hands-on experience in skilled craft

BATON ROUGE, La. (June 20, 2017) — Thirty teachers from the Baton Rouge Area completed a five-day immersive externship from June 12 to June 16 as part of the North Capital Region Jump Start Team’s Talent Pool, a program created and organized by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and coordinated by To the T Consulting.

“In order to build the successful, synergistic academic environments we hope for in our local community, we must start with the formation of highly qualified, versatile and engaged teachers,” said Tina Holland, PhD, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University President. “This program not only equips teachers with industry-specific training relevant to their subject matter, but also instills in them a sense of mission and vocation, allowing them to return to their classrooms inspired about the work ahead.”

The teacher externship is one of three aspects of the programming, intended to allow students and teachers to explore career opportunities in skilled craft, including: construction craft, manufacturing, healthcare, and digital media/IT careers. This is the third cohort of teachers to participate in an externship, which will culminate in soft skills training, introduction to the BRAC Virtual Schoolhouse (brac.nepris.com), and with the group developing a comprehensive lesson plan to be used region-wide.

“It’s extremely important that we provide insight into the science behind careers to help teachers and their students better understand real-world applications and opportunities in our industry,” said Jennifer Dunphy, ExxonMobil Plastics Plant Manager. “As our teachers work to prepare students for careers and college, we benefit by ensuring a ready workforce for the future.”

Teachers submitted their resumes, which were reviewed and selected by participating businesses. Externs spent time learning from local industry, including BASF, Performance, ExxonMobil, Electronic Arts (EA), ITinspired, LED FastStart, Gulf South Technology Solutions, Sparkhound, Acadian Ambulance, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, and Lane Regional Medical Center.

Selected externs for the third cohort included:

  • Shelly Barbay, Ascension District
  • Jennifer Bickham, West Feliciana District
  • Rhondalynn Brisco, Pointe Coupee District
  • Trina Brown, East Feliciana District
  • Melissa Brumbaugh, Zachary District
  • Josie Butler, East Feliciana District
  • Alex Darden, East Baton Rouge District
  • Katie DeVeer, Ascension District
  • Eunice Dieguez, West Feliciana District
  • Ashley Doiron, West Feliciana District
  • Mark Ebarb, Ascension District
  • Alfred “Randy” Gonzales, East Baton Rouge District
  • Dawn Johnson, Ascension District
  • Susan Hill, East Baton Rouge District
  • Lois Jones, East Feliciana District
  • Keith Larkin, Zachary District
  • Kimberly Martin, Pointe Coupee District
  • Debra Milligan, Pointe Coupee District
  • Jamira Mitchell, East Baton Rouge District
  • Daryl Musso, Zachary District
  • Glenda Pavageau, Ascension District
  • Katherine Pearl, East Baton Rouge District
  • Sean Stanton, Zachary District
  • Kim Stellmach, Ascension District
  • Lane Thompson, West Feliciana District
  • Jamari Tillman, East Baton Rouge District
  • Martha Tyler, West Feliciana District
  • Lisa Williams, Zachary District
  • Israel Wilson, East Feliciana District
  • Danielle Worley, Pointe Coupee District

This program supports BRAC’s Strategic Plan initiative to cultivate the region’s talent through expansion of STEM learning and partnerships in PK-12 public education, and aligning regional workforce development systems to meet business needs. Read more about BRAC’s Strategic Plan at www.brac.org.

For photos from the program, contact Kelly Bienn at kelly@brac.org.

About Jump Start

Jump Start empowers school districts, colleges and businesses to collaborate to provide career courses and workplace experiences to high school students. Regional teams — public-private partnerships made up of schools, two-year colleges, local industry and economic/workforce development experts — together develop innovative courses of study.

Students complete a customized selection of courses from a Jump Start graduation pathway and earn industry-valued credentials. Jump Start students graduate capable of attaining high-value, entry-level employment and continuing their education.

About the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation 

The Louisiana Construction Education Foundation (LCEF) was founded by a group of construction leaders to develop and promote training and educational programs that expand and strengthen the construction industry leaders of Louisiana. Since 2009, LCEF has supported training to expand and improve the construction workforce of Louisiana by providing programs, scholarships, equipment, instruction and other assets.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.

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