Kathleen Babineaux Blanco,


Louisiana is proudly preparing our young people to compete in the global market. In this publication, evidence of our talent abounds, and these wellprepared young adults are ready to work.

One of my goals is to prepare our work force so that every person who wants to work can find a decent job. Thatís why Iím working so hard to build a stronger economy that creates good-paying jobs, rewards initiative, and encourages entrepreneurship.

These principles are the guiding lights of my administration, and they characterize much of what we hope to accomplish as we work to create opportunity for all our citizens.

Iím optimistic about our stateís future. Iím also hopeful about the capacity of our people to successfully meet the difficulties that face us, because we are a state filled with talented, industrious citizens.

Louisiana is changing and the list of positive indicators is growing daily. We have much to make us proud.

The U.S. Census Bureau ranks our stateís manufacturing workers fourth in the nation in productivity.

Governing Magazine recently increased Louisianaís grade to a solid B for the way we run our government and manage our taxpayersí money. Only seven states ranked higher.

Education Week has ranked Louisiana No. 1 in the nation for our efforts to improve teacher quality. Recent results from our accountability program also show far more Louisiana schools are improving and far fewer are failing.

In Louisiana, we understand the importance of lifelong learning and the need for our workers to continually upgrade their skills.

As recently reported by the Southern Regional Education Board, Louisianaís state and local appropriations for full-time college students have increased. Southern Business and Development ranked Louisiana third on its list of Top 10 "Comeback Kids." The magazine predicts our "comeback will result in a consistent job generation effort."

Iím sure that in this issue of Louisiana GRADUATES, youíll be impressed with the quality of the graduates from Louisiana schools. Please take time to search these pages, go online, or pick up the phone and hire a Louisiana graduate.

By hiring our own, you will send a message to business leaders around this state and the world that Louisiana is "Open for Business." The graduates featured in this magazine are a testament to that fact.

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

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