Jan 26, 2021

7th annual Jump Start Convention goes virtual, takes place today and tomorrow

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education’s annual Jump Start Convention welcomes educators and industry leaders today and tomorrow (January 26-27). Approximately 1,200 Louisiana educators and industry leaders will reflect on the progress of the state's premier career and technical education (CTE) program, build knowledge, share resources and strategize for the future. The event's theme is "Inspire. Innovate. Impact." While this is the seventh year for this annual event, it is the first time the convention will be held virtually. 

“Louisiana’s graduates must be ready for a career or college when their time in high school is done,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “The success of our Jump Start program and of events like this convention demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every student is on track to a professional career, college degree or service.”

Today’s opening session, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature a welcome from LDOE Director of Quality Diplomas Jessica Vallelungo, a “State of CTE in Louisiana” address by Dr. Brumley and a Jump Start Construction Connect Scholarship continuation announcement by Louisiana Community and Technical College System Chief Public Affairs Officer Quintin Taylor and TJC Group's Nicholas Johnson. 

The opening session for January 27, which also starts at 1 p.m., features a Strong Start 2020 Career and Technical Education Instruction Panel. Moderated by Vallelungo, the panel will include Ascension Public Schools Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Ronda Matthews, St. Landry Parish School Board Supervisor of STEAM Dr. Therese Ellender and Desoto Parish Schools Director of Student Services Dr. Darrell Hampton. 

Attendees will participate in over 25 unique sessions that complement the event's theme. Regional economic leaders will discuss and share occupational forecasting for high wage, high demand careers in their economic region. A panel of STEM industry leaders will also discuss the future of Louisiana’s STEM workforce.

The two-day virtual event will be streamed on the Department’s YouTube channel. Attendees will reflect on some of the CTE highlights in 2020:

  • The Department launched an initiative designed to increase the number of high school graduates who earn an associate’s degree or participate in a high-demand apprenticeship program during high school. Fast Forward was developed to blur the lines between high school, higher education and the workforce as part of a redesigned high school experience. Fast Forward will prepare students for current and emerging professions that expose students to high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations. Students in Fast Forward will have the option to participate in one of three pathways: Fast Forward Jump Start 2.0 Pathway, Fast Forward TOPS University Pathway and Fast Forward High-Demand Apprenticeship Pathway.
  • The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved additions to the Department’s Jump Start 2.0 initiative that will expand career courses, pathways and industry-based certifications available to students prior to graduation.
  • The Department celebrated the inaugural STEM Pathway graduates. The first cohort of students to successfully complete rigorous coursework designed to prepare them to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career fields graduated with the Class of 2020. The inaugural group, which included 23 students, earned a special endorsement on their diploma to mark the accomplishment.
  • As the pandemic forced school buildings around the state to close, the Department developed guidance for school systems to provide quality CTE instruction during modified operations. 

Jump Start is Louisiana’s innovative career and technical education program. Jump Start prepares students to lead productive adult lives, capable of continuing their education after high school while earning certifications in high-wage career sectors. Students are required to attain industry-promulgated, industry-valued credentials in order to graduate with a Career Diploma. Schools receive the same accountability grade credit for preparing students for careers in high-demand job sectors as they do for students who achieve top academic honors.

#  #  #  #  #  #