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New Orleans Business Alliance, Mayor Cantrell, City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways and Partners Announce Greenhouse Training Program for Employment Opportunities in Green Infrastructure

June 13, 2023

Media Contact:
Valerie Huntley

Malana Joseph Mitchell

NEW ORLEANS, LA  Today, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways and AdvancingCities grant partners announced the launch of an educational greenhouse program for under and unemployed individuals to provide training and job placement assistance in the city’s green infrastructure industry. 

“The City is excited to be collaborating on the AdvancingCities Challenge with the New Orleans Business Alliance, Thrive New Orleans and Delgado Community College to support career pathways for young people and market competitiveness for small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “As a coastal city and on the frontlines of the climate crisis, our blue-green infrastructure is an industry that has and will continue to yield dividends for the people of New Orleans. These investments are leading to strong workforce training, preparing opportunity youth and adults who are people of color and people with low incomes for high-wage jobs. With the help of JPMorgan Chase, we are, one day at a time, setting ourselves up to be a national leader in green hydrogen production and will continue to make critical investments in infrastructure that will shape the future of New Orleans for the next century.”

The AdvancingCities Greenhouse Program is part of New Orleans’ AdvancingCities initiative, a $5 million grant program funded by JPMorgan Chase to strengthen the city’s economic and climate resilience. The initiative’s workforce component is tailored to individuals who have faced barriers to employment, such as previous incarceration and systemic hardships, high school youth and opportunity youth, connecting them with high-wage jobs in the city’s growing water management sector. It also includes support for small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color, to benefit from procurement opportunities.
“Business has an important role to play in advancing the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Greg Rattler, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping our clients navigate the challenges and capitalize on the long-term economic opportunities and environmental benefits of progressing toward a low-carbon world. JPMorgan Chase will facilitate $2.5 trillion to contribute to sustainable development, including $1 trillion for green initiatives over ten years – from 2021 through the end of 2030. Collectively, since 2021, we have financed and facilitated $482 billion toward our target, including $176 billion toward our $1 trillion green target.”

The AdvancingCities Greenhouse Program was designed to put green infrastructure opportunities and dollars into the hands of the BIPOC community and locals dedicated to the city’s resilience. The goals for the project include creating a seamless pipeline to identify and train under and unemployed individuals in high-growth jobs; connecting businesses to potential employees with the technical and soft skills necessary to succeed in the industry; and building the blue-green infrastructure expertise in New Orleans that ensures the city’s positioning for innovation and response.
“Our team is proud to continue the work of creating equitable workforce opportunities for all New Orleanians,” said Louis David, Interim President & CEO, NOLABA. “Giving hands-on experience and access to living-wage jobs to our community members who may not normally have these opportunities creates a culture where equity and prosperity are realized by all. We are so grateful to JPMorgan Chase and all of our partners for their commitment to our workforce and our mission of solving our water management issues.”

The eight-week program will provide classroom instruction on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Delgado Community College, giving participants a deeper understanding of the past, present and future of green infrastructure, the horticulture industry and indoor plant production. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, participants will learn how to install rain gardens, permeable pavers, bioswales and more through hands-on application at the newly constructed Department of Parks and Parkways Greenhouse, in partnership with Thrive New Orleans. 

“This innovative partnership brings together business, government, non-profit and educational sectors to achieve common goals: advancing racial equity in New Orleans, building our climate resilience and ensuring our strong future,” said Chuck Morse, Executive Director, Thrive New Orleans.

Program participants will earn a $12 per hour stipend of up to 40 hours per week, in addition to nationally endorsed certifications from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, and the Center for Watershed Protection. Job placement assistance will be available for all program graduates. 

Since receiving the AdvancingCities grant, NOLABA has worked with a collaborative of agencies and community stakeholders to develop and oversee programs and strategies to invest in the burgeoning blue-green infrastructure industry. Key partners include the City of New Orleans, YouthForce NOLA, Thrive New Orleans, Propeller, The Water Collaborative, Delgado Community College, University of New Orleans, Urban League of Louisiana, Go.Be., New Corp, Inc., the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways and Louisiana Green Corps.

For more information about AdvancingCities, please visit nolaba.org/advancingcities. 


About New Orleans Business Alliance
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 opportunity. Through an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create a more equitable and prosperous future for all. Learn more at www.nolaba.org.


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