Dr. Girard Melancon

Board Vice Chair

Dr. Melancon is the CEO/Founder of Durango Works. He has worked with sector-based workforce training programs for over 20 years investing more than 150 million of foundation and taxpayer dollars into progressive workforce development initiatives.

Dr. Melancon has served on both Democratic and Republican Governors’ workforce transition teams, addressing Louisiana’s disconnected populations’ workforce needs. In 2019, Dr. Melancon received the National Skills Coalition Skill Champion Award. Since 2015 his team has helped generate over 20 million dollars for business and industry. His team has also provided more than 22,000 people with the necessary skills to embark on careers in multiple industry sectors, including transportation, healthcare, construction, energy, petrochemical, and manufacturing.  

Previously, Dr. Melancon was the Vice Chancellor for Workforce Solutions at Baton Rouge Community College. During his time at Baton Rouge CC, grew its workforce education department from serving 350 students to over 2500 students annually while generating over $2 million in annual revenue, with new industry-based initiatives in the areas of allied healthcare, IT and Cyber Security.

Prior to his work at the college, Girard served in state government as an advisor to Governor Bobby Jindal, and at the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the state’s Office of Juvenile Justice.  In these positions he leveraged state and federal funding to provide educational reform and workforce development opportunities to at-risk and disadvantaged populations in the State of Louisiana.

Girard has also been an active advocate for the need to expand education and training options for a range of working people.  He is the outgoing Board President of the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE), a 700-member network of workforce service leaders at our nation’s community colleges.  And he has been a regular leader in National Skills Coalition’s efforts to press federal officials from both parties to bring greater priority to workforce education informed by a sector-focused, business engagement strategy.

Dr. Girard Melancon