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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Ava Dejoie
Louisiana Workforce Commission

Ava Dejoie is executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards in January 2016.
As executive director, Dejoie is responsible for providing the strategic vision to enhance the growth of Louisiana’s economy and its workforce, by putting people to work in fulfilling, family-sustaining careers. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and job-seekers and oversees worker compensation benefits. The LWC also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

Dejoie has more than 15 years of leadership experience in public administration and is passionate about finding solutions that make Louisiana an outstanding place in which to live, work and grow a business. The recent devastating flooding allowed Dejoie the opportunity to display her dedication. Under her leadership, the LWC worked diligently to provide much needed assistance to our neighbors affected by the flooding by helping as many as she could make the tough times just a little easier.

Her focus on the public policy field took root when she served as an intern in the office of U.S. Sen. John Breaux, D-La.

Dejoie joined the LWC in 2012 and most recently was statewide coordinator of its Rapid Response Team. In this role, she directed resources to workers displaced by corporate layoffs, shut-downs and other job-reduction actions. She earlier served as director of LWC special projects in the New Orleans area, including supervising the Avondale Employee Transition Center.

Dejoie’s extensive background in Louisiana workforce development includes experience as a business liaison for the Louisiana Department of Education. In addition, she served as a board member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System from 1998-2007.

Dejoie also served as vice president of the Welfare to Work Partnership, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in New Orleans that provides innovative workforce solutions for companies through the hiring, retention and promotion of welfare recipients and other unemployed workers. Dejoie supervised creation of the partnership’s law project, and was recognized for the accomplishment by President George W. Bush in ceremonies at the White House. While with the partnership, she also helped secure funding for a process technology laboratory at L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans.

Dejoie is a native of New Orleans and graduate of Ursuline Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Loyola University of New Orleans.

Current Topic


     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state? Take the survey!
Governor John Bel Edward’s deputy chief of staff, Johnny Anderson, resigned in November due to allegations of sexual harassment. A month earlier, celebrity chef John Besh stepped down from his restaurant management group after sexual harassment accusations. Charges of sexual misconduct in the workplace against celebrities and government officials made state and national headlines during the last several months of 2017.

How widespread is the problem in our state? Where is the distinction drawn between boorish acts and abusive behavior? Is every circumstance unique or should all offenders be dealt with in the same manner? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana” Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, February 27)

Panelists:
- Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell; Senate Select Committee on Women and Children
- Craig Broome; Louisiana Society of Human Resource
- Janice Lansing, Chairperson of Governor Edwards’ Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Policy Task Force
- Allison A. Jones; attorney; Downer, Jones & Wilhite in Shreveport

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and Southern University Vice President for External Affairs, Robyn Merrick, host the discussion.


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