BRAC-sponsored Legislation Removes Barriers to State Jobs for Over a Million Louisianans

Bill to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for most state jobs signed into law 

Baton Rouge, LA (June 18, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today joined Governor Jeff Landry as he signed HB 566 (McMakin) into law. The BRAC-sponsored bill eliminates the requirement for a baccalaureate degree and limits the necessary relevant experience for most state employment positions, drastically expanding employment opportunities for people across Louisiana. 

“Today marks a significant step forward for workforce inclusivity and economic opportunity in Louisiana,” said Ann Trappey, interim president and CEO of BRAC. “This legislation ensures that talented individuals, regardless of their educational background, have more opportunities for employment. It recognizes the value of experience, skills, and potential over formal education alone.” 

HB 566 aims to address workforce demand by removing barriers to state employment for a significant portion of Louisiana’s population. Approximately 1.4 million working-age Louisiana residents (25-65 years old) have at least a high school degree but less than a bachelor’s. This legislation opens thousands of stable state jobs to this population, enabling up to 87% of Louisiana adults to apply for these positions. 

Additionally, the unemployment rate for individuals with a high school degree or equivalent was 5.3% in 2022, significantly higher than the 2.6% unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. By expanding the state applicant pool in a tight labor market, the bill addresses workforce shortages and provides greater job stability and economic security for those with high school diplomas. 

The passage of this legislation marks a win for BRAC’s 2024 legislative agenda, which included focusing on legislation that eliminated impediments to employment. BRAC’s annual legislative wrap-up can be found in full at brac.org/legislative-priorities.   

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is a regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

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