On September 21, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the City of New Orleans is expanding the BuildNOLA program to continue to support the city’s small and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). The expansion includes new initiatives to further training opportunities for small businesses and DBEs on green economy initiatives. These programs include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate Certification and Arborist exam preparation classes.
“We are excited to forge these new partnerships to create additional training programs for our small and disadvantaged business enterprises. As the city continues to focus on resilience, these new programs will help businesses become versatile and take advantage of new opportunities in the green economy,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “As we continue to create the city of our dreams, we are investing in our small businesses and DBEs because we know that the success of these businesses are important to the growth of our city.”
Last year, the City certified 95 new DBE firms. In 2017, $77.5 million was committed to DBE firms, representing 39.05 percent DBE participation for City contracts exceeding the 35 percent goal.
Network for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ashleigh Garderesaid, “We are very proud of the work of the BuildNOLA program. It has been able to impact the lives of residents across New Orleans and help perpetuate the Network’s mission of creating pathways to prosperity. We are eager to hear of the great work that our small businesses and DBEs are able to do with these new green certification opportunities.”
The BuildNOLA program has helped participating businesses secure over $5 million in new public and private sector contracts and create over 63 new jobs. In 2016, the City launched the BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund to help those local small businesses and contractors that have demonstrated the technical capacity to perform work for the City but do not have the cash on-hand required to handle unpredictable payment schedules of public sector work.
In October 2015, the Network for Economic Opportunity, through the City’s Office of Supplier Diversity, launched BuildNOLA, an eight-week training program to help prepare local small and disadvantaged businesses to more effectively compete for public and private contracts. The program expands the city’s pool of competitive and qualified bidders and maximize contracting opportunities for DBEs.
In partnership with the United States Green Building Council of Louisiana (USGBC Louisiana), the Network for Economic Opportunity will begin hosting LEED Green Associate Certification exam preparation classes to educate small businesses and DBE’s on green building practices.
Housed at Delgado Community College, the eight-hour course will be divided into three sessions:
Participants must attend all three sessions. Those interested in signing up must email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to register is October 3, 2017.
Additionally, the Network for Economic Opportunity is partnering with the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center (LSU AgCenter) to offer Arborist Exam Preparation classes to educate businesses on the planting, caretaking and maintaining of trees. The majority of roadwork in New Orleans requires a licensed arborist to review the impact to trees on the roadwork project. This new training will ensure that more local businesses can compete for the unprecedented amount of recovery work in the city.
Also housed at Delgado, classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday from October 2, 2017 through November 8, 2017. Classes will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.
Seating is limited to 30 students. Those interested in signing up must email email@example.com. The deadline to register is September 26, 2017.
USGBC Louisiana Board Member Casius Pealer said, "The LEED Green Associate credential (LEED GA) is designed for contractors and other construction professionals to demonstrate general knowledge of green building practices and an understanding of how to support others working on construction projects with sustainability goals. These practices emphasize water management, energy efficiency, and occupant health outcomes, and are increasingly required for public projects in New Orleans, across Louisiana, and nationally."
LSU AgCenter Associate Professor Dr. Hallie Dozier said, “New Orleans, like other cities in Louisiana, is home to a beautiful, vibrant green canopy. Who could imagine life in New Orleans without the beautiful trees? It’s unthinkable. Our urban forest provides so many benefits: beauty, cleaner water, storm water retention, cleaner air, cooling shade and habitat for wildlife, to name a few. But trees do not thrive on their own. They need the skilled services of trained tree care specialists – arborists – to establish, thrive and endure in our urban landscapes. In addition to preparing for credentialing arborist exams, green industry workers who take this course will increase their technical knowledge about trees and tree care and greatly enhance their ability to care for this valuable resource.”
Delgado Business & Technology Division Dean Warren R. Puneky, Jr. said, “The Delgado Community College Entrepreneurship and Small Business Center is proud to continue our partnership with The City of New Orleans Office of Supplier Diversity and its Build NOLA initiative to grow the community of skilled small business owners.”
About the Mayor’s Economic Opportunity Strategy
Launched in September 2014, the Mayor’s Economic Opportunity Strategy connects disadvantaged job seekers and businesses to new opportunities. As part of the strategy, the Network for Economic Opportunity revised the city’s DBE policy and introduced a new local hire ordinance known as Hire NOLA. Click here to see more on the Network.
To sign up for the program, New Orleans residents are encouraged to visit www.thenetworkneworleans.org.
About Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College, a comprehensive community college, offers programs through the associate degree. The College provides a learning-centered environment through face-to-face and distance education to students from diverse backgrounds to attain their educational, career, and personal goals, to think critically, to demonstrate leadership and to be productive and responsible citizens.
For more information, please visit www.dcc.edu/.
About US Green Building Council of Louisiana
USGBC Louisiana is a volunteer-driven nonprofit working every day to make Louisiana a greener, healthier place to live, work and learn. The chapter is focused on providing green tools for the growing network of sustainability professionals in Louisiana and supporting the next generation of sustainability natives through a nationally recognized Green Schools Initiative. USGBC Louisiana is engaging a diverse community of forward thinking leaders and moving the state towards a more resilient future.
For more information, please visit www.usgbc.org/organizations/louisiana.
About LSU Ag Center
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, known as the LSU AgCenter, is one of 11 institutions within the Louisiana State University System. The LSU AgCenter’s mission is to provide the people of Louisiana with research-based educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being. The LSU AgCenter includes the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, which conducts agricultural-based research, and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, which extends the knowledge derived from research to the people of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and consumer sciences, and community development programs.
For more information, please visit www.lsuagcenter.com/.