May 28, 2014 09:31 WISE plan clears Louisiana Senate WISE plan clears Louisiana Senate Capitol news bureau May 28, 2014 Comments The Jindal administration’s plan for positioning higher education to meet the workforce’s job demands sailed through the Louisiana Senate on Tuesday. The Senate voted 36-0 for the measure after making a slight alteration which will require a trip to the House for concurrence. House Bill 1033 would create the Workforce Innovation for a Stronger Economy, or WISE fund. Colleges and universities would compete for a $40 million pool of funds annually. The $40 million would be subject to annual appropriation by the Legislature. The funds would be controlled by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the state’s top higher education board. Colleges would get a share of the dollars by producing graduates for high-demand fields and bringing in private funding. The focus likely will be on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. State Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, sponsored the change which spelled out the type of private sector match that could be counted. Chabert’s amendment would allow personnel to be provided as an in-kind match. “This will really help community and technical colleges” by providing experts in certain high-demand fields to help with the training, Chabert said. “It strengthens the bill,” Chabert said. The WISE plan represents a collaboration with the state Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The goal is to match schools’ education focuses with the needs of the state’s economy.