U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Support Economic Resilience Initiatives in Greater New Orleans

WASHINGTONToday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $950,000 grant to Greater New Orleans Inc., (GNO, Inc.) of New Orleans, Louisiana, to support local disaster resiliency efforts by expanding strategic alliances between industry partners, economic development organizations and schools of higher education through the organization’s signature GNOu program. The EDA investment will be matched by $353,590 in local funds. Details were shared in a press release.

“We applaud the EDA’s continued investment in the Greater New Orleans Region and its strong partnership with GNO, Inc.,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO, Inc. “This new investment will allow GNO, Inc., to identify and develop new ways to support the region’s efforts to build a more resilient economy and workforce. We understand through personal experience what natural disasters and market shocks can do to undiversified economies. Through GNOu, and our partnerships with industry and higher education, we are training good people for great jobs, and creating a more diverse and resilient economy.”

GNOu is a program whereby GNO, Inc. matches employers with schools of higher education, in order to develop custom training programs for in-demand jobs. This generates a triple-win: the company gets specifically-trained workers; the school gets a market-relevant curriculum; and, the overall labor market grows with a better trained workforce. The project will allow GNO, Inc., to identify specific opportunities to address recovery and resilience with a locally-trained workforce. This will, in turn, help develop a more diverse economy that can weather the market shocks caused by natural and manmade disasters. This project is supported by and made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission to bring together the public and private sectors to help create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs

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“The Trump Administration is working diligently to help communities impacted by natural disasters to both recover and build back stronger,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “GNO Inc., play an important role in identifying, pursuing, and attracting new business and investment that will stimulate job growth and wealth creation in the Greater New Orleans region. We are thrilled to support their efforts to strengthen the relationships needed to build long-term economic resilience against future natural disasters.”

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

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