All of the Above

As Louisiana embraces a move toward clean energy and higher paying industries, GNO, Inc., is working to pave the way to success.

This is an exciting moment for GNO, Inc., as we usher in a new wave of opportunities with the potential to not only grow, but transform the regional and state economies.

Louisiana’s legacy of being an energy innovation leader is poised to continue as the state embraces an “all-of-the-above clean energy future.” Local companies are building and servicing offshore wind projects along the East Coast, using expertise gained working with oil and gas operations. This will prepare the state for offshore wind leases in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. Our H2theFuture initiative, one of the most forward-thinking energy initiatives in the nation, will help catalyze research, training, startup incubation, and other key elements needed to deploy clean hydrogen across South Louisiana.

These are just two of the many initiatives under GNO, Inc.’s “all of the above” energy strategy.

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Preparing our residents for high-growth, high-wage careers is a major priority. GNO, Inc.’s workforce development team creates partnerships that deploy impactful training in the region, yielding nearly two dozen GNOu programs to align the needs of local industry with the capabilities of education and training providers. This work is aided by the GNOu Summit, a conference that convenes human capital, education, and training leaders from across Southeast Louisiana to share trends, best practices and impacts.

Before training and hiring can take place, the region’s future workers must be guided into the right career pathways. The GNO Career Guide does this by highlighting leading opportunities found in Greater New Orleans, and offers a matchmaking tool that pairs the skills and abilities of students and young adults with occupations that take advantage of those traits.

GNO, Inc., also operates as the state’s Region One Center for STEM, or GNO Rocs, which exposes students to STEM careers through several impactful initiatives, including WISE Women, which invites high school girls to connect with female mentors and take tours of facilities that utilize STEM skills, like the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. Another is the HBCU Innovation Internship Program, which has paired 50 upperclassmen from Dillard, Xavier and Southern universities with local startups and tech companies over the past three years, providing ground-level access to the inner workings of the area’s most advanced companies.

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Finally, growth of the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has been strengthened over the past few years by several new programs. Eighteen months ago, GNO, Inc., launched StartupNOLA.com, an online highlight reel of the local ecosystem that features the support organizations and startups in Greater New Orleans. Later this summer, updates to the site will help connect users with local ecosystem events and university research programs around the region. As one of the certified participants in the state’s Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), GNO, Inc., will be making equity investments in regional startups over the next several years.

Two key initiatives are also aimed at fostering inclusive innovation. GNO, Inc.’s Startup Noir NOLA is launching a website later this summer to highlight the output of high-growth startups launched by Black entrepreneurs and help promote funders, support services and legislation focused on supporting Black founders. GNO, Inc., is also working with OHUB to create the New Energy Technology Incubator, which supports new energy startups created by minority founders.

These are just some of the ways that GNO, Inc. is working to create a region with a thriving economy and an excellent quality of life, for everyone. Success will be the creation of a robust, accessible and growing middle class in Southeast Louisiana where our children and grandchildren can live and prosper.

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Michael Hecht is president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the economic development agency for Southeast Louisiana. He may be reached via email at mhecht@gnoinc.org.

 

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