New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Launches Small & Emerging Businesses Initiative

The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority governing board has launched the Small & Emerging Businesses initiative, a multifaceted program aimed at educating business owners about the benefits of becoming state certified as well as raising awareness about new business and economic opportunities at the Convention Center.

“Small business growth is central to the development of our state and local economy, and we are committed to providing local vendors with business opportunities,” said Bonita Robertson, chairwoman of the Authority’s Small and Emerging Business Committee. “We encourage the hiring of local vendors for the purchase of goods and services at every opportunity, and this expanded effort is designed to bring that message to an even broader cross section of the business community.”

An SEB is defined as an individual or business domiciled in Louisiana, with no more than 50 employees, and annual gross receipts that do not exceed $5 million for non-construction and $10 million for construction companies.

Busineses can become SEB-certified through Louisiana Economic Development’s (LED) Hudson Initiative, a certification program designed to help eligible Louisiana small businesses gain greater access to purchasing and contracting opportunities.

“LED actively supports Louisiana’s small businesses by providing them access to state government purchasing opportunities through the Hudson Initiative,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “We encourage small business owners to become certified in the Hudson Initiative, so that we can increase the diversity of businesses who are participating in this important program. We’re delighted that the New Orleans Convention Center is playing a leadership role in expanding these opportunities through their Small and Emerging Business initiative.

For more information about the Convention Center’s small and emerging business program or new business opportunities at the Center, please visit Businesses can also register to receive timely updates on future opportunities.

City Invites All NOLA Residents to Neighborhood Summit

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Engagement Office invites all New Orleans neighborhood leaders and residents to register to attend the 2017 New Orleans Neighborhood Summit. The summit is a free, one-day conference featuring skill-building workshops, city information sessions and opportunities for residents to connect with others working to build stronger and more resilient communities.

It will be held on from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at University Medical Center – Conference Center from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The theme of this year’s summit is Celebrating 300 years of Resilient Neighborhoods: Laying a Strong Foundation for the Future.

Attendees can choose to participate in a variety of skill building workshops and panel discussions on public safety, affordable housing, building a more resilient New Orleans as well as working strategically with government. The Summit will also feature a resource fair that includes city agencies, local non-profits and community groups. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Registration is open at:

Each One Save One Celebrates Anniversary with Call for Mentors

Each One Save One, a nonprofit agency which pairs at-risk students with trained volunteers who act as mentors, celebrates its 23rd anniversary with a special fundraising event called “The Power of One: Multiplied by You!” to be held on Thursday, Nov. 30, at noon at the Hilton Garden Inn in the historic Warehouse District.

The event’s keynote speaker Ron E. Samford, Jr., president & CEO of Metairie Bank, issues a challenge to all New Orleans-area businesses to get involved by raising money for the organization or encouraging their employees to become mentors.

For the past two and a half decades, Each One Save One has matched hundreds of youngsters with caring adults who commit to at least one year of school-based mentoring. Mentors agree to meet with their students for at least one hour per week during their lunch or free periods to offer guidance in their personal and academic lives.

“At Metairie Bank, eight of our employees enjoy the priceless rewards of mentoring students on a one-to-one basis all across the Greater New Orleans area by spending time with them at school and in immersive experiences such as field trips, sporting events and other meaningful activities,” said Samford, who will introduce a new, bold path forward for the growing mentoring agency at the November 30th luncheon.

Tickets to the event start at $60 and are now available online at

Each One Save One was started in 1994 by Sally Ann Roberts and Cathy Harris, two women from notably different backgrounds. Roberts is a reporter who became disheartened after reporting on all the negative stories in the community. Harris is a professional speaker and community leader who worked with a number of other mentoring programs in the city.

New Orleans Education Organizations Awarded Nearly $13 Million to Collaborate on Strategy to Recruit and Train Teachers

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a nearly $13 million grant to a group of New Orleans universities and non-profits to recruit, prepare, and develop nearly 900 highly-effective, culturally competent teachers from diverse backgrounds by 2020.

The project establishes a unique and innovative partnership of teacher training programs, including two local universities – Xavier University of Louisiana and Loyola University New Orleans – and four New Orleans education non-profits – Teach For America Greater New Orleans, teachNOLA, and Relay Graduate School of Education, and New Schools for New Orleans. The partners will work together to address teacher pipeline challenges across the city, implementing their unique teacher preparation models to meet the needs of schools with high concentrations of High-Need Students while collaborating on best practices and problem-solving.

“The partnership that this award will help foster is an important step for our city,” said Dr. Renee Akbar, chair and associate professor of Xavier University’s Division of Education and Counseling. Xavier University will serve as the lead convener of each of the awardees. “We will come together across the full range of ways teachers are prepared to work in our city’s schools – residencies, university programs, and alternative routes.”

Xavier will recruit, prepare, and develop new teachers over the course of the grant through the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency (NCFTR), a partnership between Xavier and New Orleans charter management organizations.

“Xavier is extremely proud to take the lead in this dynamic educational endeavor,” said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University. “Developing a diverse pool of locally trained teachers is critical to the future of the educational system In New Orleans and to the success of our youth. We are grateful to the Department of Education supporting us in these efforts.”

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