Second Cohort of Teacher Externships Gives Educators Hands-on Experience in Skilled Craft

Twelve teachers participated in final component of Louisiana Construction Education Foundation “Golden Carrot” Grant

Baton Rouge, LA (June 28, 2016) – Twelve teachers from the Baton Rouge Area completed a five-day immersive externship in skilled craft last week as part of the North Capital Region Jump Start Team’s Talent Pool, a program made possible, in part, through a grant provided by the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation, administered by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and coordinated by To the T Consulting.

“BRAC recognizes the value in connecting education to market needs, and proactively works to bridge the gap between the classroom and workforce demand,” said Liz Smith, director of policy and research at BRAC. “The teacher externships allow educators to learn through direct experience about trends, skill requirements and opportunities in industries related to their subjects, thereby allowing them to provide relevant and accurate information to their students.”

The teacher externship is one of three aspects of the programming, intended to allow students and teachers to explore career opportunities in skilled craft. This is the second cohort of teachers to participate in an externship, which will culminate with the group developing a comprehensive lesson plan to be used region-wide.

“This experience has helped me to develop a more rigorous, engaging and relevant course curriculum, ensuring that more students are college and career ready,” said Killian Williams, a participating extern from West Feliciana High School. “Coupled with the career and technical education classes offered at West Feliciana High School, students will receive the academic, technical and employability skills and knowledge to pursue postsecondary training or higher education and enter a career field prepared for ongoing learning.”

Teachers submitted their resumes, which were reviewed and selected by participating businesses. Externs spent time learning from local industry, including BASF Zachary, BASF Geismar, MMR Group, Performance Contractors, Thompson Pipe Group, and ABC Pelican Chapter. Selected externs for the second cohort included:

  • Susan Burch, West Feliciana High School
  • Melissa Brumbaugh, Zachary High School
  • Andre Duhe, Zachary High School
  • Myrtle Hurst, East Feliciana High School
  • Alva Kilbourne-Franklin, East Feliciana High School
  • Gary Keith Larkin, Zachary High School
  • TaRhonda London, East Feliciana High School
  • Robbyn Parks, Scotlandville High School
  • Julien Lee Singleton, Scotlandville High School
  • Arnold Thomas, Scotlandville High School
  • Paul Theriot, West Feliciana High School
  • Killian Williams, West Feliciana High School

In addition to the teacher externships, the program provided career awareness and soft skills coaching through a regional networking fair.

This program supports BRAC’s Strategic Plan initiative to cultivate the region’s talent through expansion of STEM learning and partnerships in PK-12 public education, and aligning regional workforce development systems to meet business needs. Read more about BRAC’s Strategic Plan at

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at

About Jump Start

Jump Start empowers school districts, colleges and businesses to collaborate to provide career courses and workplace experiences to high school students.  Regional teams – public-private partnerships made up of schools, two-year colleges, local industry and economic/workforce development experts – together develop innovative courses of study.

Students complete a customized selection of courses from a Jump Start graduation pathway and earn industry-valued credentials. Jump Start students graduate capable of attaining high-value, entry-level employment and continuing their education.

About the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation 

The Louisiana Construction Education Foundation (LCEF) was founded by a group of construction leaders to develop and promote training and educational programs that expand and strengthen the construction industry leaders of Louisiana. Since 2009, LCEF has supported training to expand and improve the construction workforce of Louisiana by providing programs, scholarships, equipment, instruction and other assets.


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