Paul J. Helton

Executive Director, LED FastStart

LED FastStart has been the nationally top-ranked workforce development program for 12 straight years.  Recruited to Louisiana as one of the founding team, Paul Helton serves as LED FastStart’s Executive Director, providing oversight and direction for all LED FastStart project operations and workforce initiatives.   

Paul Helton has over twenty years of targeted workforce development experience.  As the leader of the LED FastStart program, he has helped to create a well qualified and sustainable workforce in Louisiana for over a decade.  Prior to LED FastStart, Helton served as the Director of Economic Development for North Metro Technical College in Acworth, GA, leading the Contract Training, Continuing Education, and Workforce Programs divisions.  Helton also managed individual company workforce development projects with the successful and highly ranked Georgia Quick Start program.  Prior to Georgia Quick Start, Helton was an independent training consultant and a Training Specialist with the US Navy TRIDENT nuclear submarine program. 

A graduate of Regents College (now Excelsior College) of the University of the State of New York, Helton also holds a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Georgia.  Helton is also the Past President and current board member of the National Association of Industry Specific Training Directors (NAISTD) and an active member of Association for Talent Development (ATD), the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association (LIDEA), and is an Aspen Institute Economic Opportunity Fellow.