A New Orleans Business Alliance Initiative in partnership with United Way’s IDA Project.
NOLABA is proud to announce the launch of a new matched savings account program for college students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in New Orleans through a partnership with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s IDA Project.
According to 2020 Alice (Asset Limited, Income, Constrained Employed) Report data, New Orleans has shown continued increases in the number of households that do not earn enough to afford even basic necessities. ALICE households earn too much to qualify as “poor” and often struggle to find the additional support or resources needed to make ends meet. Students in these families often work as cashiers, office clerks, servers, or in a related low-paying job to help support their family and put themselves through college. And although these positions are vital to New Orleans' economy, they do not provide adequate wages to cover the basics of housing, child care, food, transportation, healthcare, etc., for college-aged students, setting them up for financial deficits post-graduation. These students often rely on multiple sources of financial support, such as financial aid, student loans, and credit cards, to cover living and other expenses relative to their education; with many reporting they live paycheck to paycheck and lack general knowledge and understanding of how to save.
In the coming year, NOLABA will work with financial advisers at Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, and Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO) to identify 45 total students to participate in the HBCU Student Prosperity Project. Participating students will receive a 4:1 match on their savings from NOLABA toward their education, as well as credit counseling, financial education training, and asset-specific training through a series of classes hosted by the United Way. While in the program, NOLABA will also introduce students to our 504ward initiative to connect them with other local young professionals and employers to set them on pathways to personal and financial success post-graduation and ensure more of our youth find good jobs allowing them to stay here in New Orleans and contribute to our local economy.
504ward is a collaborative initiative designed to attract and retain young professional talent in New Orleans. As part of NOLABA’s efforts to provide employers with top talent, 504ward is New Orleans’s largest network of up-and-coming young professionals.
The initiative offers a suite of programs and communications, in partnership with private sector leaders and employers, that provide opportunities for career advancement, professional development, and social engagement for young professionals.
Over the past 10 years, 504ward has directly engaged more than 23,000 young professionals, featured more than 3,000 quality jobs, and partnered with more than 200 employers to date.
To learn more or sign up for the 504ward weekly email, CLICK HERE.
The Youth Demonstration Project (YDP) prepares and connects young people between the ages of 16 and 24 with quality employment opportunities in high-demand, high-wage, and high-growth industries. These opportunity youth (OY), which include approximately 7,000 in our local area, are disconnected from employment and/or post-secondary opportunities.
In New Orleans, 61% of jobs in the region require some college or higher. Yet only 54% of our workforce ages 25 and older have the skills/credentials needed to compete for those jobs. In an effort to address this gap, it is imperative that young people transition from high school with the requisite skills to compete for available employment. NOLABA supports the system-level transformation of youth-focused workforce development to better meet their needs by providing them with training providers and access to critical support tools.
This project has supported over 100 young people to date and over the next two years, the overall goal is to connect 225 youth to quality career pathways by specifically supporting OY training providers and it also serves to build the capacity of opportunity youth (OY) serving organizations, so that processes can be scaled to the larger network of providers.
At NOLABA, our team works with local businesses and business owners each and every day, so we know first-hand the critical importance of Talent and Workforce Development. Gallo Mechanical was one of those businesses, who, like us, wanted to put their people first, so together, we found a real and meaningful way to do that.
Our talent solutions team worked alongside Gallo’s leadership every step of the way to develop and launch the pilot BOOST program with a unique and immensely-beneficial curriculum as a way for Gallo to thank their rising star employees and let them know how much the company cares about their growth and advancement.Most of these people, like so many New Orleanians, had never received any real leadership training, which represents a hugely untapped resource for economic growth in our city.
The BOOST program can be customized to provide all industries, backgrounds,and skill levels with critical, specific job training and skills needed to not only help participants further their careers, but grow and develop in their personal lives as well.
In December 2018, the New Orleans Business Alliance partnered with the Aspen Institute to offer a Workforce Leadership Academy. Over 12 months, the Academy will develop a network of leaders who are able to lead their own programs or organizations and who can work collaboratively to build effective workforce systems.
Workforce Leadership Academies create and support peer-learning communities of workforce leaders from nonprofit organizations, business associations, community colleges and universities, union-based training efforts, and public agencies. Academy participants work with leading practitioners from around the country, learn about practical planning tools, and are offered the rare opportunity to imagine and develop effective workforce strategies that strengthen local workforce systems.
Fellows are selected in a competitive application process and are typically senior-level managers with authority to implement program changes. Academy graduates are part of the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunity Fellows Network.
Meet the 2019 Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows here.
— Michael Williamson, United Way of Southeast Louisiana