Cowen Institute Releases Brief on Benefits of Apprenticeships in Louisiana

On November 5, the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives released a brief of the benefits of apprenticeships in New Orleans and Louisiana in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week.

The brief was created by Vincent Rossmeier, Policy Director at the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, which is designed to advance public education and youth success in New Orleans and beyond.  

Cowen Institute An apprenticeship is employment in which a trainee is paid while acquiring on-the-job training, education, and professional skills. Louisiana currently has 47 active registered apprenticeship programs. In 2014, Louisiana had 81 apprenticeships for every 100,000 Louisianans, which was 33rd most in the nation.

“Registered apprenticeships produce the best and most consistent results of any other training program out there. They’re not sexy. They’re rigorous. But apprenticeships rely on this rigor to deliver careers that last a lifetime,” said Henry Heier, executive director at Mechanical Contractors Association of Louisiana, Inc.

For workers, benefits of apprenticeships include income, credentials and career advancement. Employers benefit from lower recruitment and training costs, customized training, improved retention, and return on investment.

The Cowen Institute believes that apprenticeships directly connect youth to high-demand jobs, while also providing a highly-skilled, custom-trained workforce to employers, a sentiment echoed by Michael Hecht, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans, Inc. and author of the foreward:

People learn by doing. This is the idea at the heart of apprenticeship, where lessons in the classroom are reinforced by on-the-job training, resulting in education that transcends the textbook and extends to physical and even cultural learning. Students get paid, and employers get custom-trained talent. And apprenticeship is more than an elegant idea; it is proven in places like Germany, which enjoys one of the highest youth employment rates in the industrialized world. For Louisiana, the opportunity of apprenticeship is particularly exciting: we are in the midst of an industrial boom that is going to produce tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, and if we connect our young people to them, we are both going to fuel the economy, and build the middle class. The following brief lays out the case for expanding apprenticeships in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana, which will benefit both our citizens and our employers, and show the nation a model for workforce training and community wealth creation.

The full brief is available at