New Orleans Taps ECC to Facilitate Access to Economic Opportunities for Residents, Businesses

Emerald Cities is now partnering with the City of New Orleans on workforce and business development programs that will maximize economic opportunities for local residents and businesses as the city invests in major capital improvement programs.

The joint effort stems from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s September 9 announcement of an Economic Opportunity Strategy connecting disadvantaged job seekers and businesses to the city’s economic growth.

The city chose ECC to help execute its strategy after an exhaustive review of best practices across the nation and learning about Veronica Soto, EC Los Angeles director, and her experience implementing the community workforce agreement for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $27 billion School Construction Program. 

“We are pleased to share our expertise on workforce development for disadvantaged populations with the City of New Orleans,” said Soto.

ECC President and CEO Denise Fairchild commended Mayor Landrieu for his “commitment to a strategy ensuring inclusion of individuals and neighborhoods most in need of high-road job opportunities and economic development benefitting local businesses.”

Landrieu’s Economic Opportunity Strategy also includes partnerships with some of the region’s largest employers and anchor institutions, as well as local training providers, social service agencies and community advocates – all aimed at leveraging resources and maximizing service to a large population in need. Partners include the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, LCMC Health and Tulane University. 

Response to High African American Unemployment
The strategy is also a tactical response to the June 2013 release of a report identifying that 35,000, or 52 percent, of the city’s African American working-age men are out of work. The report, conducted by the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University New Orleans in partnership with The Data Center, is part of a study of the economic potential for African American men in New Orleans.

Members of ECC’s Los Angeles team are now on the ground in New Orleans to collaborate with local service providers, private sector partners, labor and city departments on customized programs for disadvantaged people and businesses there.

Working with the city’s Network for Economic Opportunity, ECC is sharing its best practices and lessons learned to:

  • Help develop a construction pre-apprenticeship training program using the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) that provides a pathway to union apprenticeship;
  • Review the city’s compliance and monitoring procedures and systems to ensure participation by disadvantaged businesses and workers; and
  • Articulate the components of a contractor training program to increase local competitive capacity for future economic growth.


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