As 2018 comes to a close, we can take a moment to give thanks for what was a remarkable year in economic development for GNO, Inc. and the region. The success of 2018 was summed up when Biz New Orleans named projects of GNO, Inc. and partners as the Top 1, 2 & 3 “headlines that changed business in Southeast Louisiana in 2018.” These were:
1. Avondale – Culminating an 8-year process, many partners, along with GNO, Inc.,were able to help consummate a deal to bring Avondale Shipyard back into commerce, promising 2,500 or more jobs, plus value-added manufacturing, for Greater New Orleans
2. DXC Technology – The largest economic development jobs win in Louisiana history, DXC finalized their real estate process, and signed a lease on Poydras Street – bringing 2,000+ software jobs to a region that was already one of the fastest growing tech sectors in America
3. Formosa Plastics – The Taiwanese company announced a mega-deal in St. James parish: $9.4B of investment and 1,200 jobs, with an average salary of $85,000 – effectively doubling the tax base of St. James.
In total, our region enjoyed economic development wins in 2018 worth over 6,500 new jobs, and nearly $11B of new investment.
Other wins for 2018 included:
- Continued growth of international flights at MSY, the #3 fastest growing airport in the USA
- Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program
- Multiple GNOu industry-driven training programs at regional universities
- Development of Reform for Louisiana’s Future, the State legislative platform for 2019
- The Crime Tech Task Force’s development of technology solutions for the NOPD
- A suite of young professional leadership programs, including the Emerge Summit conference
- Launching of GNOfuture, GNO, Inc.’s long-term economic development plan for the region
- Launching of GNOzone.org, for Opportunity Zone development
- Launching of “NOME,” the New Orleans Music Economy initiative
- National press, like U.S. News & World Report calling GNO the “Silicon Valley of the South”
Through this record-breaking year, GNO, Inc. was led by our first Chairman from the River Region, Tommy Faucheux of Dow Chemical Co.
A remarkable year indeed, but here is the key point: None of these wins were accomplished without deep and sustained partnership. Collaboration was the key in every single one of these victories. In fact, when we asked DXC Technology why they chose GNO over 30 other locations in North America, the #1 reason was that no place else in North America displayed teamwork like New Orleans.
Partnerships = Wins. That is why, for our upcoming Annual Meeting luncheon on February 8, we chose the theme: “Come Together: The Power of Partnership.” We may live in volatile times, but 2018 proves that teamwork prevails. Just ask the Saints!
Let us end 2018 with a heartfelt “Thank you!” to the staff, board, investors and partners of GNO, Inc. and the region. Every day we prove that, working together, New Orleans is truly Greater.
You can read more about GNO, Inc. 2018 highlights here.