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Rural Louisiana has many of the same problems as other rural states: population decline, unemployment, poverty. At the same time, Louisiana has an extensive array of community colleges, universities and technical schools through which workers can get an education. Workforce development – employee training, linking schools and employers, curriculum to match desired skills – has emerged as a popular tool for rural economic growth. Critics say that the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and welfare reform have made training for the un-employed and economically disadvantaged more difficult to acquire and more difficult to provide. Enrollment data at community and technical colleges shows that may not be true for Louisiana. This study examines the impact of WIA legislation on enrollment at technical and community colleges in Louisiana.


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