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State of Louisiana in red


"From healthcare companies to technology companies, whether large corporations or family-owned businesses, everyone is struggling to find people who want to work.  Our workforce participation rate in Louisiana is one of the lowest in the country with only 59.5% of our residents working or looking for work.  For Louisiana’s economy to experience the boom it deserves and for us to put Louisiana citizens to work in high paying jobs, I want to unlock the full potential of our workforce and move people from dependency and idleness to contributing to their personal advancement and our state's collective economic prosperity." -Sharon Hewitt

Sharon Hewitt discussing policy

Linking education to jobs

I want every Louisiana citizen to have an opportunity to get a high-paying job here in Louisiana, while acknowledging that students do not fit the one-size-fits-all model of everyone must go to college to be successful. In addition, I want Louisiana businesses to have access to a trained in-state workforce, without having to go to other states to hire talented people. This begins with re-inventing our high school, community/technical college, and university offerings to be innovative, flexible, and responsive to today’s quickly evolving job market and meet the state’s workforce needs. Our colleges and universities will have course curriculums that support degrees that meet the needs of our current industries and those that we want to attract. And our students will have seamless transfer options to minimize the time and cost of pursuing a degree.

Affordable and accessible education after high school

As Governor, I will make it more affordable for students to get a head start on the education and skills they need to go to work by expanding dual-enrollment, apprenticeships, and industry-based certifications for students while earning their high school diploma. And for those who want to pursue a post-secondary credential, I will continue to champion TOPS, TOPS Tech, and the Foster Promise Program because there is no better investment of state dollars than in the people of Louisiana. I will stop the brain-drain and give our students and young adults a reason to stay in Louisiana, with multiple pathways to earning a credential of value.

State of Louisiana in red


When she was first elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2016 it became obvious to Sharon that Louisiana had fallen far behind in developing enough talent in the types of technology jobs that were growing the fastest. In 2017, Senator Hewitt passed legislation creating the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (LaSTEM) Advisory Council to help chart a course for developing the right skills in our students for today and tomorrow’s workforce. Sharon also recognized that students today need multiple pathways to success and has written legislation to help address these changing needs.

As a State Senator, Sharon Hewitt has:

    • Created a nationally-recognized, statewide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) ecosystem by creating and funding the LaSTEM Advisory Council and nine (9) Regional STEM Centers to oversee the creation, delivery, and promotion of STEM education programs and to align them with the future workforce needs to provide jobs for our citizens in high-demand, high-paying careers.  In addition, LaSTEM requires a focus on encouraging and training more women to enter STEM careers, shrinking the gender pay gap.  (Act 392 of 2017 RS)


  • Improved the Foster Promise Program to provide first-semester funding for adults 21 years old or older who need new workforce skills from a technical or community college or proprietary school to compete for jobs in high-demand fields such as construction, information technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation and logistics. (Act 287 of 2023 RS.)



  • Provided for school choice to allow high school students pursuing a career/technical path to attend another high school in their school district if their high school does not offer the desired program. Students are able to both graduate from high school and earn an industry-based credential, associate degree, or an apprenticeship while in high school and enter the workforce upon graduation. (Act 533 of 2022 RS.)
  • Requested the Nursing Supply and Demand Council to study and make recommendations to improve statewide nurse retention in response to the nursing workforce shortage. (SR 129 of 2022RS.)



  • Required the Board of Regents to conduct a comprehensive review of our present post secondary education system and to recommend the optimal delivery of post-secondary education in the future that will meet the needs of the state's citizens and industries, while maximizing the state's resources. This bill was the foundation for additional legislation in the areas of workforce and career readiness, college and career preparation, academic programs, and faculty.  (Act 619 of 2016 RS.)


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