BRAC releases report on progress retaining college graduates in region
Baton Rouge, La. (November 7, 2023) – Baton Rouge Area college students are increasingly using the Handshake recruitment platform to find internship and job opportunities, according to the annual Handshake Report Card released today by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). The report outlines year three progress on the organization’s partnership with LSU and Southern University to retain graduates in the region by connecting students to local career opportunities through the Handshake platform. The report card is available online at brac.org/research.
“As a ‘college town,’ the Capital Region is well-positioned to maintain a thriving young professional population, but year-over-year, we see net-migration loss of our young talent. The Handshake partnership was created to tackle just that,” said Maggi Spurlock, BRAC director of talent development. “By increasing student access to local jobs, we are creating more opportunities for students to plant roots in the Baton Rouge Area. And good news for us, the students are looking for those opportunities on Handshake. This lends a huge opportunity to local businesses to gain access to this talent pool.”
Key takeaways from this year’s report include:
- Employers registered for Southern’s Handshake increased more than fivefold, from 290 last September to 1,557 this September;
- There are 647 employers registered for BRCC’s Handshake, up from 8 last September;
- The percentage of LSU students who activated their Handshake account increased from 51.4% last year to 64.3% this year;
- Student activations at Southern increased 48% since last year, meaning there are 1,351 more Southern students active on Handshake; and
- 78% of seniors at LSU are activated, up from 67% last year.
The initial partnership announcement with LSU and Southern was made in September 2020, since then BRAC facilitated transitioning the LCTCS system and FranU onto the Handshake platform, making the Capital Region one of the only metros in the country with all traditional four-year and two-year institutions aligned behind a single recruitment platform. This year, BRAC collected baseline data for Baton Rouge Community College, River Parishes Community College, and FranU. The 2024 Regional Handshake Report Card will be the first annual report to share year-over-year engagement data for these institutions.
Key priorities going into 2024 include driving greater internship opportunities for current students, educating employers on best practices when creating and maintaining internship programs, driving greater student account activation across campuses and individual colleges, and educating employers on how to create profiles to recruit at all regional institutions.
Regional businesses are encouraged to create a free employer account on Handshake and utilize the system for recruiting interns and entry-level employees from all the region’s higher education institutions. Employers can post jobs for free, browse on-campus career events, interview opportunities and get matched to students who meet their job opportunities. More information about Handshake, resources for creating internship programs, and BRAC services related to talent attraction and retention are available at brac.org/handshake.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious 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.