BRAC, Southern and LSU partner in effort to keep graduates in Capital Region

Baton Rouge Business Report

In an effort to retain more graduates in the Capital Region and in Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, LSU and Southern University have partnered to connect students to career opportunities and internships. 

Using Handshake, an early talent recruitment platform, students will be connected to internships and jobs by employers, who can create a free profile through which to recruit talent from LSU, Southern and any of the other 900-plus universities on the platform. Employers can post jobs, prioritize and filter candidates, schedule interviews and register for recruiting events from a single login.

The collaboration holds the universities and BRAC accountable for expanding the number of active student and employer profiles in the system.

“This is a historic joint commitment of our region’s traditional four-year institutions to be intentional about connecting students to local internship and job opportunities,” says Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Now more than ever, talent drives economic development, and our college students are one of our greatest assets.”

LSU and Southern both invested in the Handshake platform in 2018. Roughly half of the student population at both institutions have active profiles, with upperclassmen comprising largest percentages. There are 489 active employer profiles in the region. 

BRAC is pursuing similar agreements with the region’s other postsecondary institutions—Baton Rouge Community College, FranU and River Parishes Community College.

This initiative is expected to be of particular significance for small to midsized employers, which account for 88% of the Baton Rouge market. Smaller employers often have fewer resources to invest in recruiting university talent. Baton Rouge college students are most frequently connected with experiential learning opportunities at large businesses, those with formalized human resources departments and budgets, according to a study conducted by SSA Consultants for BRAC on the region’s internship ecosystem. 

In the coming months, BRAC will host workshops with the universities’ career service centers to help employers set up Handshake profiles, learn how to most effectively engage with the platform and connect with additional resources available through the career service centers. The first workshop, Handshake 101, will be Oct. 14.

Learn more about the partnership

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