An Inclusive Water Cluster Powered by New Orleanians
grant funding received to increase opportunities for New Orleans residents & small businesses
number of U.S. cities that applied for the AdvancingCities grant at the time of announcement
number of winning cities selected for AdvancingCities program at the time New Orleans announcement was made
local partners who make up collaborative working toward a more resilient and inclusive future
Through a major philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase, Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) are proud to announce $5 million in grant funding to ensure the resiliency and success of New Orleans neighborhoods and all those who call them home.
As one of seven winning cities selected by JPMorgan Chase for its AdvancingCities Challenge, New Orleans is making a historic investment into blue-green infrastructure, providing pathways to new career opportunities for residents and contract opportunities for local small businesses.
The support from JPMorgan Chase will not only change the ways in which we live with water; it will serve as a launching point for further investments in resiliency and sustainability in the face of climate change and economic downturn due to COVID-19. The announcement also builds on JPMorgan Chase’s new $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity, addressing key drivers of the racial wealth divide and providing economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.
Through the launch of AdvancingCities in New Orleans, NOLABA is working with the multi-agency collaborative of agencies and community stakeholders to develop and oversee programs and strategies to invest in the burgeoning blue-green infrastructure industry.
“This is an opportunity to build a new and more equitable economy in Louisiana — a blue-green industry that employs and benefits all New Orleanians. This effort will tackle very complex challenges — urban water management and income inequality. To deal with these difficult issues, New Orleans is proposing smart, innovative solutions. And that’s why this collaborative is a winner of the AdvancingCities Challenge, a competitive process that fielded 150 proposals from 35 states.”
One of fewer than 80 Accredited Economic Development Organizations worldwide, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official public-private partnership created to increase economic gains for the city of New Orleans. Through a direct partnership with the City of New Orleans and strong connectivity with the business community, the New Orleans Business Alliance works to ensure the economic security of all New Orleanians by diversifying the local economy, developing local talent, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities. Through an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
Through the launch of AdvancingCities in New Orleans, NOLABA is working with the multi-agency collaborative of agencies and community stakeholders to develop and oversee programs and strategies to invest in the burgeoning blue-green infrastructure industry.Learn More
Blue-green infrastructure is an industry approach to urban flood resilience, including construction that leverages water elements, like canals, wetlands, and water management features like permeable concrete, paired with plant elements, like parks, trees, and native plants. Immediate opportunities are available in this industry, as the City is in the process of making multi-billion dollar investments in infrastructure projects across Orleans Parish, including the $141M HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) grant for the Gentilly Resilience District (GRD), a $2B FEMA settlement for joint road and drainage infrastructure improvements from Hurricane Katrina, and a $500M local bond for infrastructure. This also builds on the $18B from the BP Oil Spill settlement that the state is utilizing to jumpstart its 50-year, $50B Coastal Master Plan.
“As we look forward to the future of our city, it is imperative that we are intentional and innovative about our approach to complex challenges, and how that approach affects all of our people. This program is a testament to that forward-thinking approach, and I am excited at the opportunities it will bring to our city and for our people. We are thankful to JPMorgan Chase for this investment in our work to create a more resilient and equitable future for New Orleans.”
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell
YouthForce NOLA is an education, business, and civic collaborative that builds bridges between school and work. Through our network of partner schools, employers, training providers, and community organizations, YouthForce is opening more doors to economic opportunity for New Orleans students. We partner with employers in high-wage industries to expose students to different career pathways and take their first step into the workforce. We focus on an integrated student experience both inside and outside the classroom where students receive career exposure, skills building, and work experience throughout their teens.
"Our city’s young people are essential to the success of growing a regional blue-green infrastructure and economy. As our future leaders and workforce, it is wise that we provide them with the skills and experiences they need to thrive in these high-wage career pathways. It will help grow the economy and advance equitable outcomes across New Orleans. JPMorgan Chase has been a long-time and continued advocate for New Orleans: for our economy, environment, and most importantly, our people. I am grateful for their partnership and thrilled at this next phase of commitment."
— Cate Swinburn, President of YouthForce NOLA
Thrive New Orleans exists to empower people with a holistic network of resources and relationships as they work to change their lives, families, and communities. We play a key role at the intersection of humans and the environment: equipping local residents to shape a sustainable, thriving, future for our city. Thrive’s green workforce and green business programs provide clear paths to success in the essential Stormwater Management industry. Our team wholly backs rising green professionals as they each overcome their unique barriers.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive, but historical oppression and gaps in access have left many of our neighbors in cycles of survival. We address this inequity through workforce training, small business support, family services in the 9th Ward, and citywide resource distribution.Learn More
Propeller is a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their nonprofits and small businesses to tackle social and environmental disparities in New Orleans. Propeller’s impact spans from job creation and economic growth to narrowing disparities within our five areas of focus: Food, Water, Education, Health and Community Economic Development.
While some programs like Propeller’s Water Challenge are already in existence, many of the programs and initiatives resulting from this grant will be newly designed.Learn More
The Water Collaborative responds to the challenges in water with actions meant to spur long-term change and create movement infrastructure. Thus, their work centers around creating scalable solutions that reach all aspects of our lives. To do this work, they focus on educating residents about water and its impact, creating collaboratively sourced policies, and increasing equity by tackling water affordability, accessibility, and quality. More so, the work is directly connected to the climate mitigation and green jobs movement. The organization wants all to understand that water infrastructure does not exist in a vacuum. To support this movement, we have created a variety of services to meet the needs of local and global communities interested in the relationship between water and New Orleans.Learn More
Delgado Community College, a comprehensive community college, offers programs through the Associate degree. Our Water & Wastewater Technology Department of Delgado Community College offers a unique opportunity to prepare students to enter the water and wastewater operator field. The program provides students the necessary fundamental math skills and science knowledge to work in the water operations field. The program focuses on providing students with a smooth and relatively fast entry into the water operator workforce by:
Since its founding, the University of New Orleans (UNO) has been committed to diversity and inclusion. In 1958, the University of New Orleans opened its doors as the first fully integrated public university in the South. For nearly 60 years, we have not strayed from that vision. The University has educated students from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states, and more than 130 countries, bringing together a variety of talented and motivated students so that they may learn, interact and pursue their career goals.
At UNO, we strive to use our land strategically and sustainably while improving habitats for native flora and fauna. Our commitment to adding rain gardens, pocket parks, and more to our campus stands to improve the lives of our neighbors. With various green infrastructure projects, we aim to manage stormwater and restore the native ecosystem. As stated in the UNO Campus Master Plan, we must embrace the long-term interests of our community when approaching beautification and grounds work.Learn More
The mission of the Urban League of Louisiana is to assist African Americans and other communities seeking equity to secure economic self-reliance, parity and civil rights. We implement our mission through programs in the areas of EDUCATION and YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, WORKFORCE and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, PUBLIC POLICY and ADVOCACY initiatives. They provide critical services in education and youth development, workforce and economic development, public policy & advocacy.
The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is the Urban League of Louisiana’s statewide entrepreneurial development organization. As the organization continues to evolve, we are deploying deliberate, innovative, place-based programming and services to entrepreneurs in communities across Louisiana. Our mission is to provide impactful support to women and minority entrepreneurs that wish to create and grow scalable, profitable, and sustainable business ventures.Learn More
Go.Be. is focused on enhancing our community through skills development, contracts and capital to grow, and networks to scale as you go beyond survival to success. We strive to increase minority business growth by addressing the well-documented barriers to success – contacts, contracts, and capital. Since 2001, Good Work Network has served the women and minority small business owners of greater New Orleans, helping to start or strengthen more than 2,200 businesses and creating or sustaining more than 5,600 full-time jobs.Learn More
For 25 years NewCorp, Inc., as a 501 c3 nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has proudly and ambitiously provided capital, counseling, technical assistance, and training to small-to-moderate, minority, and women-owned businesses that have difficulty accessing funds from traditional sources. NewCorp also possesses a successful track record of deploying millions of dollars in disaster recovery loan products and services to small businesses impacted by the devastating effects on a post-Hurricane Katrina region to the current health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a CDFI lender, we continue to assemble a suite of products and services that support equity. From our focus on collaborating with municipal, state, and federal government entities as well as public and private funders, we work tirelessly to connect socially and economically deprived businesses (DBE firms) with access to the capital needed to fund bonding, equipment, and initial labor costs.Learn More
Green infrastructure uses native plant species – in form & function to create community-scaled resilient urban landscapes with rich, healthy soils, and permeable gray surfaces. These components enhance and encourage natural processes to reduce flood risks and slow subsidence (sinking) and improve air, earth & water quality. In addition to environmental benefits, this project approach creates recreational & social spaces that connect the community – which encourages community gathering and stewardship to spur neighborhood revitalization.
Green infrastructure when partnered with gray infrastructure improvements lessens the burden on the city’s drainage system by create a gray / green network of mitigation. This comprehensive approach to water management.
Watch the full press conference launching AdvancingCities New Orleans