New report finds LA is 17th in the nation in keeping college grads in state

Around 75% of college graduates stay in Louisiana after leaving school.
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A new report shows most Louisiana college graduates are staying in the state post-graduation.

The Washington Post found that around 75% of college graduates stay in Louisiana after they leave school.

“Companies are using the strategy that if they can find candidates that are from those areas that are willing to make that their home, there will be less turnover. They can actually stay and grow within the organization,” Jessica George, Director of Student Services for Louisiana Tech’s School of Business, told KNOE.

Kellye Blackburn is the Director of Career Services at Grambling State University.

“Our top employers for the state are our local education, so our schools, other state organizations, community service organizations, and our police departments,” explained Blackburn.

George says post-grad success starts with good relationships with industry leaders.

“One of the things that we do is we will ask our employer partners what are the trends,” said George. “What are the areas that our students need additional development and exposure in and then going to make those adjustments back in our curriculum.”

Blackburn says the next step is connecting graduates with job openings.

“We utilize a recruitment platform called Handshake,” Blackburn said. “It’s a national platform, and many of the employers who connected with us on Handshake are local employers.”

Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the report.

“I often say Louisiana’s best days are ahead of us, and this news is proof that we are heading in the right direction. It is a testament to the historic investments we’re making in higher education, and the hard work my administration has done to grow and diversify our economy. We have the lowest unemployment rate in state history, and we have created nearly 200,000 jobs since the worst of the COVID pandemic. It is gratifying to see so many Louisiana college graduates choosing to stay right here to begin their careers and to know that we are outpacing many other states, especially in the South. But we will not settle for 17th. We will keep working until no other state keeps more of their college graduates home than Louisiana.”