SWLA jobs conference held in Lake Charles - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA jobs conference held in Lake Charles

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Hundreds of business leaders gathered for "Stepping Up: Meeting the Workforce Challenge for Louisiana's Dynamic Economic Expansion," a day-long conference on Wednesday, addressing the needs of the workforce in the coming years. 

"We think the state is going to add at least 6,800 new jobs over the next two years, growing at a rate of about 1.7- 1.8 percent," said economist Dr. Loren Scott. 

The conference kicked off Wednesday morning with Scott touting Southwest Louisiana's economic growth. 

"If you're on I-10 and below I-10, with the exception of New Orleans, you're going to see some extraordinary growth waves," said Scott. "The oil patch is growing very fast, the worker setting here and in Baton Rouge is growing very fast." 

A roundtable discussion followed with members of the state's Board of Secondary Education and other leaders in top growth sectors. 

"What you're seeing here in SWLA is just an echo of the broader potential of the economic growth in this country if we're willing to get out of our own way," said David Chavern, COO of the US Department of Commerce. 

"The reality is that it's the upside is there for the taking. America can win in the world, should win in the world and in fact the world wants America to revitalize itself and win," Chavern said.

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