The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) says it is launching “Tech Ready Louisiana,” a program that will bring free online learning to thousands of people across the state.
LWC is partnering with Coursera to offer Louisianians access to thousands of courses to help them develop new skills and increase their career readiness. Coursera is one of the world’s largest online learning platforms, offering over five thousand courses.
They work with over 250 top universities and companies including Yale University, Columbia University, Microsoft, and Google to provide training for in-demand skills that employers want.
“Tech Ready Louisiana will take people from courses to careers,” said LWC Secretary Ava Cates, “Everything from learning Microsoft Office, to skills in the IT or healthcare industries. This is about giving Louisianians the opportunity to learn new, marketable skills to advance in their current job or get the career they’ve always wanted.”
Tech Ready Louisiana aims to provide all Louisianians with accessible education and training to help them reach their career goals, officials say.
Louisianians will have free access to more than 5,000 courses that will help them develop the knowledge and skills needed to find meaningful employment, including in areas such as career readiness, digital skills, data analytics, hospitality and tourism, and healthcare. All courses are fully online and self-paced to work around busy schedules. Learners can earn a certificate in three to six months.
“Technology is creating new opportunities in the workforce, but workers need access to flexible, affordable, and fast-tracked pathways to transition into well-paying jobs of the future,” said Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. “We’re honored to partner with the Louisiana Workforce Commission to launch a free statewide training initiative that will equip thousands of Louisianians with the high-demand skills and credentials needed to advance their careers and unlock their full earning potential in the new economy.”
The program includes Career Academy from Coursera, which prepares workers – even those without a college degree or prior work experience – for over 20 in-demand digital careers in roughly six months.
Louisianians can explore careers, develop key skills and competencies, build a portfolio of hands-on projects using tools of the trade, and earn industry-recognized credentials from Google, IBM, Meta, Salesforce, and Intuit to help them land good jobs.
A new study shows more than half of all Louisianians either do not have access to or cannot afford high-speed internet. So, LWC is also opening up its American Job Centers (AJC) for people to access these online courses if reliable internet access at home is an issue.
“We know Louisiana struggles when it comes to making broadband available and affordable for our people,” said Cates. “We have almost 60 American Job Centers and affiliate sites across the state available for people to come in and use reliable internet to complete these courses.”
Officials say you’ll need to contact your AJC to ask about availability for technology services before you arrive. To find an AJC near you, including their location and hours of operation, click here.
To register for “Tech Ready Louisiana” residents need to be 18 or older and have or create a HiRE account. Once they have an account they can register here. To learn more about Coursera and the courses they offer, click here.