20 Nov NOLA MADE: Bring Your Talents Home to New Orleans

nola madeIt’s the second year for NOLA MADE, a holiday shopping marketplace featuring NOLA-born brands on Black Friday at the Ace Hotel. NOLABA President & CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr., writes about why, as New Orleans’ tricentennial approaches, now is the time to bring your talents home to New Orleans:

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Like many families, our family is looking forward to the holidays. Great food, better conversations and the best hugs. Dinner table conversations centered on football, strategies for Black Friday shopping, family traditions and thoughts about the future, particularly for those who are part of the next generation.

This holiday season is the second year for NOLA MADE, an innovative program aimed at affording former New Orleanians a glimpse of the professional opportunities in the city they once called home. NOLABA is happy to partner with GNO, Inc., 504ward and Acrew on this great event, which features a virtual career fair for the first time.

NOLA MADE’s intentionality is emblematic of a laser focus in our city on becoming more aggressive about attracting and retaining human capital. For many years, New Orleans relied on its unique position as the largest city to the mouth of the Mississippi River and its rich cultural legacy as selling points for her sons and daughters to return to the city after college, military service or other life experiences. The assumption was that our children, the next generation, would default back to their hometown. The talent exoduses accompanying the Oil Bust of the 1980s and Post-Hurricane Katrina reality rent asunder these assumptions and candidly, New Orleans is better for it.

Today, we recognize that we must earn the talents of our children. We must give them a reason to bring their talents home to New Orleans.

So, young professionals, as you seek to escape the family member that refuses to recognize that your cheeks are sculptured and no longer cherubic, join us at NOLA MADE and learn more about new opportunities in a city with surging software technology and health service innovation sectors. Learn about your New Orleans, home to both companies with 100+ year traditions that have created Innovation teams, and six-month old companies that have secured institutional investment from leading venture capitalists nationally.  Learn how local companies are helping people around the globe live more constructively with water and create tools that are transforming the very nature of learning.

There are so many more reasons to be encouraged about New Orleans as she approaches her 300th birthday. Yet more than anything else, bring your talents home to New Orleans, because your talents mean more here. What makes the holidays (and life more broadly) special is the impact that our smiles, hugs and winks have on others. Your professional life can make a similar impact here in New Orleans. Your city is ready for you – join us during this special time in building a lasting season of economic growth and prosperity for New Orleans.