City of Lake Charles: Creating Career Pathways

Report National Resource Network Lake Charles, Louisiana August 1, 2017 Workforce Development

The National Resource Network partnered with the City of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in November 2016 after Lake Charles’ energy-related industries announced nearly $100 billion in proposed projects in the Southwest Louisiana region. Thirty two billion dollars worth of industrial contracts had been signed and construction started, resulting in a projected need for up to 31,000 temporary skilled workers for the construction phase and up to 18,000 permanent positions. These new jobs offered unprecedented opportunities for qualified local residents.

Recognizing that providing the youth of Calcasieu Parish with the skills to access and succeed in the region’s key growth industries was vital for the region’s economic competitiveness, the city engaged the Network to support their efforts to align the area’s workforce development and education initiatives to industry needs.

Based on the numbers of youth between the ages of 16 and 24 that are not in school and not working (although willing and able to work), youth disconnection costs Calcasieu Parish taxpayers approximately $39 million per year. After comprehensive data analysis and close collaboration with a Career Pipeline Steering Committee, the Network produced a report to create career pathways for the region’s youth and begin recouping this lost revenue. The report offers several funding scenarios and provides recommendations for the city to pursue, offering the region guidance as it plans for the future.

The Network’s engagement team in Lake Charles was led by Network consortium member PFM. To learn more about this engagement, please contact Network staff at

City of Lake Charles: Creating Career Pathways