A $45,000 grant has been awarded to help promote an interest in construction craft careers in the North Capital Region, made up of East Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana and Zachary school systems.

The Louisiana Construction Education Foundation awarded the grant to the North Capital Region Jump Start Team.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber will oversee the grant’s implementation. BRAC has been pushing a plan to increase science, technology, engineering and math skills in the workforce.

BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp said the LCEF effort is “bringing together educators and industry to provide students with practical experiences that will prepare them for high-growth, high-wage careers.”

The grant will fund four phases of work: training teachers in web-based tools that

promote an understanding of career data and workplace experience; paid “externships” to place teachers with construction-sector employers to learn about skilled crafts; a regional networking fair focused on soft skills relevant to the construction industry; and follow-ups to measure student awareness of opportunities within the construction industry.

“By providing teachers with direct experience in construction careers, we’re enabling them to better prepare students to pursue careers in these in-demand disciplines,” said Hollis Milton, superintendent of the West Feliciana School System, the lead district for the North Capital Region Jump Start Team.