Whirlwind of Development and Opportunities Continue in New Orleans Region

When I moved back to New Orleans from New York City in 2009, I didn’t know what to expect.  Sure, I was excited to be closer to family, have a steady supply of fresh seafood, and be forever rid of my black down jacket. But the anchor of career prospects outside of the tourism and oil & gas industries seemed wishful.  This worry was unfounded because New Orleans and surrounding parishes have been experiencing a whirlwind of development activity, attracting new companies, expanding existing ones, and creating more jobs and wealth in the region. Progress has been especially evident in the past two years and was succinctly summarized at ULI Louisiana’s 4th Annual What’s REALly Going On event.

Representatives from Jefferson, St. Charles, Orleans, and St. Bernard Parishes spoke of their long-term development plans and current projects underway.  One of my favorite projects to hear about was the $60 million NOLA Motorsports Park being built in Avondale in Jefferson Parish.  This sprawling 750-acre facility south of the TPC Louisiana Golf Course is the closest thing to heaven for a speed demon, where adults and kids alike can euphorically zip around the racetrack.  Upon completion, this will be the longest racetrack in North America. Zoom, zoom!

Photo courtesy of http://www.nola.com

In St. Charles, Parish President VJ St. Pierre cited $2.7 billion worth of planned industrial expansion. This includes projects like the Valero Green Diesel Facility and Dow Ethylene Expansion (each estimated to be $400 million), the $238 million Praxair Hydrogen Plant, and the $190 million Air Products Hydrogen Plant.  A good education system and low crime rates which contribute to a high quality of life were a few major reasons convincing companies to expand into the parish.

Hearing the various presenters speak about their strategies and plans to attract new business to their parishes, I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be overlap in efforts and market cannibalization.  After all, we all reside in Louisiana and, while each parish has autonomy over its economic development, our resources would be more effective with greater coordination and organization among all players.  Michael Hecht from GNO, Inc. did note coordination among the parishes and highlighted key industries that the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region is targeting for new investment and development.  Three of the sectors – Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, and International Trade – focus on building on the region’s existing strengths.  The remaining sectors – Software & Digital, BioSciences, and Sustainable Industries – focus on leveraging regional assets to create new, diversified opportunities.

The New Orleans region has attracted a diverse spectrum of companies ranging from Gameloft, the Paris-based video game developer, to Blade Dynamics, the wind turbine manufacturer.

Photo courtesy of http://www.gnoinc.org

I think our country, states, parishes, and individual businesses can learn from GNO, Inc.’s successful use of a strategic analysis to define the region’s strengths which can then be turned into opportunities.  Our firm recently conducted an internal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to quantify our collective strengths as a company and to identify opportunities that would complement these strengths.  It was a productive morning where each staff member not only learned an interesting fact or two about another, but gained a clearer idea of areas where we could develop more business.

New Orleans certainly isn’t the place I expected when I arrived in 2009.  It’s better.  The city is humming with activity and being touted as an outstanding place to live and work.  Companies nationally and internationally are noticing our attractiveness and I’m certain we have the tools and leadership to reel them in.  In the midst of all of this positive outreach, though, we need to ensure we are nurturing the companies that already exist in our region.  More on that in my next blog article.

Contributed by:

Mimi Tsai

Feasibility Analyst

mimitsai@tmg-consulting.net  or (504) 569-9239 x 34

 
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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Principal Mumphrey Elected President of ACEC/L

In July, Dr. Anthony Mumphrey became President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Louisiana (ACEC/L). The Council’s mission is to contribute to America’s prosperity and welfare by advancing the business interests of member firms. ACEC/L exists to assist principals and managers of member firms in developing successful practices. Approximately 140 Louisiana engineering firms are members of ACEC/L with over 5,000 firms belonging to the national federation. Mumphrey has served ACEC/L as a member of its Board of Directors for many years and helped the organization survive and stabilize after Hurricane Katrina. Upon his election, Dr. Mumphrey commented, “becoming president is a nice honor, but much work is needed in helping firms navigate the complex political and business environments that exist currently.”

Dr. Anthony Mumphrey is the founder and President of TMG Consulting, and will serve as President of ACEC/L through July 2012.

Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

New DBE Regulations Take Effect: Implementation at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

This year, TMG will coordinate the 6th annual DBE Outreach Event for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). Each year the BRMA and TMG invite contractors, consultants and vendors to attend the DBE workshop to learn about the Airport’s DBE Program and upcoming business opportunities. Airport staff and program managers are available to discuss project details and many small business resources are on hand to promote technical, financial and advisory services. This year there will be a special presentation to discuss the new DBE regulations that took effect in February 2011 including the increased personal net worth cap for DBE certification, increased program oversight, and revised provisions on substitution or removal of DBE firms. The Outreach Event has been greatly effective in past years to expand the quality and quantity of bids received at the Airport and it is also an excellent opportunity for small businesses to meet the big players in the Airport industry and to network for future work.

TMG Consulting is abreast of the revisions made to the Department of Transportation 49 CFR Part 26 regulations. The changes to the regulations dramatically affect current DBE programs by creating increased monitoring efforts, new reporting requirements, and a new race and gender neutral small business program requirement. TMG has researched nation-wide best practices and is prepared to respond to the needs of your agency.

If you have any questions about how the new regulations affect your current program or if your agency needs assistance in updating your DBE program and drafting the newly required Small Business Program (to be implemented by February 2012) please contact Bonnie Garrigan at (504)569-9239 Ex. 29 or bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net.