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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Read it and weep

Apparently Bobby Jindal can really pick 'em.

Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, placed in this job by Jindal, thinks the problem is that Louisiana has TOO MANY COLLEGE GRADUATES.

I know you can't believe that someone would actually say this. But I promise I am NOT making this up. Randy Newman said it best: "College Boys from LSU went in dumb came out dumb too." Maybe since this genius graduated from LSU we should just cut funding to LSU.

4-year college graduates a surplus in Louisiana
But occupational jobs are abundant

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 By Jan Moller Capital bureau
BATON ROUGE -- Louisiana has a "surplus" of college graduates getting traditional four-year degrees and needs to steer more people into community and technical college programs to meet future job demand, the state's top labor official said Monday.

Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, cited occupational forecasts that show the state will produce 10,312 more four-year graduates than there are jobs to fill between 2008 and 2016, while at the same time there are 3,892 more jobs available requiring associates' or technical degrees than there are people to fill them.

"We're producing a workforce that we cannot employ in Louisiana," Eysink told the Louisiana Postsecondary Education Review Commission, which is looking for ways to overhaul the state's higher education system.

The panel was created by the Legislature this year and is expected to deliver a plan to the Board of Regents by Feb. 12 outlining proposed changes to the state's colleges and universities. Gov. Bobby Jindal has directed the group to identify $146 million in possible budget cuts as the state prepares for years of likely budget shortfalls resulting from stagnant revenues and rising costs.

Eysink cited forecasting models that show the state's top-growing occupations to be low-skilled, service-industry jobs such as ticket-takers, cashiers and customer service representatives, as well as more skilled occupations such as nurses, teachers and trades such as welders and carpenters.

Several commission members were unhappy with the perspective, as Louisiana already trails the rest of the South and the nation as a whole in nearly every educational indicator, including the percentage of the population with college degrees. Only 21 percent of Louisiana residents ages 25 to 64 have a four-year degree or higher, compared to 26.4 percent for the South and 29 percent of the nation as a whole.

Saying a state has too many four-year graduates "is like telling a rich guy he has too much money," said Artis Terrell of Shreveport, a principal in the Williams Capital Group. "Can you ever have too many four-year degrees?"

Others said the state needs to improve at providing the jobs that would keep graduates from pursuing jobs in other states.

"Louisiana loses a lot of its best-educated folks because it doesn't have the jobs that are most attractive to them," said commission member David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Boulder, Colo.

The commission Monday elected Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, as its chairman and Belle Wheelan as vice-chair. Nevers is chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, and Wheelan is president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in Decatur, Ga.

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Jan Moller can be reached at or 225.342.5207.

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