New Orleans Business Alliance Launches Inaugural Workforce Leadership Academy

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is now accepting applications for a new program to ensure that local employers have their workforce needs met while local workers get access to greater economic opportunities. The announcement was made in a press release.

In partnership with the Aspen Institute, the Business Alliance is launching the inaugural Workforce Leadership Academy to grow a thriving network of talent and workforce development leaders in the city.

The 12-month fellowship will support a network of leaders who are able to not only lead their own programs or organizations but also work collaboratively to build even more effective workforce systems.

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“The New Orleans Business Alliance will build on the already successful talent and workforce development training programs facilitated by New Orleans’ five ‘opportunity centers’,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr. president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “This new program, open to workforce development professionals throughout our city, strengthens the workforce development landscape by providing a clearer understanding of best practices nationally that bolsters a more collaborative and easier to navigate system for employers and employees.”

“The City of New Orleans is excited to leverage partnerships between local and national agencies that can break down silos, build networks and nurture the kind of trained workforce that can meet the challenges of a modern economy. Today’s leadership professionals need the most comprehensive tools in their toolkit to keep today’s workforce moving forward,” said Ellen M. Lee, the city’s director of community and economic development.

The Academy addresses themes such as employer engagement and industry needs, effective career pathway strategies and strengthening connections between training providers, job seekers and employers. Academy members come from community and economic development organizations, business associations, community-based organizations, public agencies, community colleges, industry intermediaries, and labor unions.

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The partnership between NOLABA and Aspen will leverage and build upon the expertise of leaders across the New Orleans workforce ecosystem joined by guest faculty from across the nation, providing the group with an opportunity to collaborate on developing practical solutions to solve some of the city’s most challenging workforce issues.

The program includes an opening retreat in late March, five full-day working sessions between April and October, a second retreat in November, and a closing capstone presentation event in December. Academy graduates join a national network of academy alumni.

“We need strong leaders who can work effectively with businesses, workers and job seekers to get more people into quality jobs,” said Sheila Maguire, senior fellow at the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. “The academy provides a rare opportunity to invest in these leaders and bring the workforce development system’s stakeholders together to reflect on challenges and share strategies to address them”. 

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This new academy is funded by the New Orleans Business Alliance, as well as Aspen Institute grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.



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