Mayor Landrieu Honors Businesses for Creating Job Opportunities, Partnership with Economic Opportunity Strategy

Posted on: January 26 2017

January 26, 2017,  nola.gov

The Inaugural Corporate Citizenship Awards spotlights businesses for expanding opportunity in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted the Corporate Citizenship Awards, a celebration recognizing local and national businesses who are working to create real job opportunities for the city’s disadvantaged job seekers.

“In 2014, we launched the Economic Opportunity Strategy to create pathways to prosperity for New Orleanians and ensure that every resident had an opportunity to benefit from the City’s growth. We committed our efforts to connecting the hardest to employ to real jobs and matching local businesses to strategic opportunities for growth,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Today, we stand in the fruits of that work and remain committed to expanding opportunities. The way New Orleans wins is investing in ourselves and ensuring that no one is left behind. Together, we are building the New Orleans of our dreams. ”

The Corporate Citizenship Awards spotlighted seven partnering businesses for their procurement and workforce efforts in New Orleans. Those businesses included LCMC Health, International House, Windsor Court, Chester Electric, Strategic Staffing Solutions, Hilton Riverside and Hyatt Regency.

Each of these seven businesses received keys for “unlocking” a new area of Economic Opportunity in New Orleans. Through partnership with the City of New Orleans, these organizations are proof that businesses can grow while creating opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers.

  • LCMC Health was honored for “unlocking new markets” by hosting the 1st match-making event between its procurement officers as well as local and minority-owned companies.
  • International House and Windsor Court were honored for “unlocking new partnerships” by working with the Anchor Collaborative and the Good Work Network to form new relationships with small and local businesses.
  • Chester Electric was honored for “unlocking new opportunities” by creating 24 jobs across two major projects in New Orleans, the RTA Carrollton Avenue Streetcar Barn Project and a 30-unit condominium.
  • Strategic Staffing Solutions was honored for “unlocking new strategies” by pioneering an innovative hiring process that makes the onboarding process for a new hire easier.
  • The Hilton Riverside and Hyatt Regency were honored for “unlocking new career pathways” by working to map career pathways for their employees.

Held at the Civic Theatre, the Corporate Citizenship Awards welcomed over 400 business and community leaders to the city’s inaugural celebration.

“The Corporate Citizenship Awards celebrates the broad network of people and organizations that have joined together to deliver a strong workforce for our major businesses,” said Ashleigh Gardere, Executive Director of the Network for Economic Opportunity. “Together, we are changing the culture of doing business in New Orleans. This celebration is proof of the work that is done and the lives that are impacted when government and the business community work together.”

The evening’s culminating key was presented to the state’s largest employer, Ochsner Health System. Warner Thomas, President and CEO of Ochsner Health System, accepted the Chief Executive of Opportunity award for the organization’s leadership in creating pathways to prosperity and for going above the call of duty to impact the lives of disadvantaged job seekers in New Orleans.

Ochsner has implemented a number of reforms to expand opportunities which include establishing a Workforce Development Department, reviewing hiring practices for people with criminal records, increasing wages for more than 400 medical assistants and delivering over 80 new hires and promotions for incumbent workers to career pathways in health care.

“As a national and global destination healthcare system and the state’s largest private employer, we are aware of the impact we can have in increasing meaningful employment opportunities for the people of our city and the region. We have a remarkable team who has initiated and developed successful training programs for medical assistants, medical students and allied health professionals, enabling us to better serve our communities. Ochsner strongly supported Mayor Landrieu’s Workforce Initiative, and we are committed to being a good corporate citizen as part of the change to partner in developing solutions like these," said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System.

Through collaboration with local and national businesses, the City of New Orleans has seen success in job creation. Since the strategy’s launch in 2014, we connected over 1,000 disadvantaged job seekers to employment.  The City’s unemployment rate has dropped from 6.7% to 5.8% and the African American male under-employment rate has dropped from 52% to 44%. 

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