MERA was created in 2000 and is administered by the Louisiana Retailers Association. MERA grants are funded through the Louisiana Department of Economic Development under the authority of LA R.S. 47:318.
The MERA grant provided funds for students to recently attend leadership training and the state DECA conference. They also will receive training to improve skills through customer service marketing activities, as well as advancing their abilities in accounting principles.
At the conference, students worked with marketing and accounting simulations that improved their abilities to provide better customer service, product knowledge and follow-up procedures.
They also competed in various marketing related competitive events at the state conference.
Marketing Education Coordinator June Thompson said the students will apply what they learn in role-play work scenarios that will carry over into real-life experiences in the workplace.
Upon completion of all the training, the students will complete accounting simulations and take the National Customer Service Examination.
Thompson says the significance of the National Professional Certification in Customer Service affects everyone - the school, students and employers.
"It validates that learning took place in the classroom and that class objectives have met industry needs, including rigor and relevance because these certification standards are set by the industry," said Thompson.
Students leave the classroom with an industry-developed credential that demonstrates their potential to future employers.