The Daily Reveille
Louisiana natives know the scenic landscape, Cajun cuisine and vibrant culture in the Bayou State.
Some leave this familiar environment for career and cultural opportunities elsewhere, but the “Come Home, Louisiana” campaign calls for a revival with new job openings and propositions about local economic and cultural benefits.
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development launched the nationwide campaign and website to encourage Louisiana natives to find the job they want in the place they love.
The campaign works with the website LouisianaJobConnection.com to give job seekers and employers the tools necessary to build a strong state economy and a foundation for growing families.
The Come Home, Louisiana campaign offers information regarding the state’s career opportunities, regional cultures and local events, and it invites users to spread the word with e-cards. It also encourages those who have left the state and returned home to share their experience using the social media handle #ComeHomeLA.
The affiliated website pulled in 700 job seekers on its first day of operation. To date, the site serves 12,000 job seekers and 950 employers.
Robert Mann, professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication, observed the Come Home, Louisiana campaign and said the competitive opportunities for employment are not the only factors in Louisiana natives deciding where to seek employment.
“They’re also looking for basic quality of life and cultural opportunities — all the aspects of living in a certain community. Is the community going to offer them something to do after work,” Mann said.
LouisianaJobConnection.com is a free matching system that connects job seekers and employers based on factors including resumes, personality, skills and interest.
“There are a lot of good jobs in this state, and a lot of times it’s a matter of finding the right person for the right job. So this is an interesting way to match the whole person to the job as well as the community,” Mann said.
Pre-nursing freshman Shelbie Gwinn said she plans to find employment in Louisiana after graduation.
“I think it’s important to offer what I learned in-state to other people in Louisiana, and keep that in state,” Gwinn said.
Some students, though, feel their job prospects may be dismal if they stay in the state.
“There are just more options for my career path outside of Louisiana,” said chemistry sophomore Ashli Link.
The campaign anticipates to spend about $300,000 on the first round of advertising and if the campaign sees progress, more funding will support it in 2015.
Julie Laperouse, official from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, said though their work is separate from the Department of Economic Development, they have launched a website called LIVEcapitalized.com which is a next step for those who participate in the Come Home, Louisiana campaign.
Once Louisiana natives move back, the BRAC efforts will aid with assimilation.