2023 GNO Jobs Report: Explore the top occupations in the region

December 31, 2016

THANK YOU – 2016 GNO Highlights

2016 was a year of game-changing economic development wins for Greater New Orleans. Perhaps none was bigger than British Airways announcing the first direct nonstop flight to Europe since 1982, following a prolonged multi-partner recruitment effort. The region also enjoyed the largest announcement in Louisiana – and one of the largest in the country – for 2016, an $8.5 billion LNG facility in Plaquemines. New Orleans also hosted the fastest-growing tech conference in the country, Collision, that was lured here from Las Vegas, as well as the inaugural RES/CON, which aims to be the premier summit on resilience in the world. Finally, GNO, Inc. was honored by being named one of the “Top Economic Development Organizations in the USA” (one of 11 of 25,00) by Site Selection magazine.

All of us at GNO, Inc. are deeply indebted to the many, many supporters and partners that make our work and wins possible. Thank you for your extraordinary collaboration, and here’s to an outstanding 2017!

International Flights

  • British Airways (London) – Following a four-year effort, British Airways announced it will commence nonstop New Orleans – London (Heathrow) service beginning March 2017
  • Condor (Frankfurt) – The German carrier also announced that it will commence New Orleans – Frankfurt service beginning May 2017
  • Choice Aire (San Pedro Sula) – The domestic charter carrier commenced New Orleans – San Pedro Sula (Honduras) service in December 2016
  • Record Service – Overall, thanks to the partnership between MSY, NOCVB, city, parish and state government, Louis Armstrong Airport now has 7 international direct flights, and 59 overall on 17 airlines – a record level of air connectivity for Greater New Orleans

Business Development

  • Nearly 1,000 new jobs (280 direct + 801 indirect)
  • Over $8.5B in new investment
    – Venture Global – The largest capital investment in Louisiana in 2016, an LNG facility located in Plaquemines Parish
    – Valmiki Capital – A venture capital firm that expanded from New York City to New Orleans
    – Select Lab Software – The first life science digital media company to locate in GNO
  • Collision Conference – GNO, Inc. was a lead on the team that moved Collision, the fastest growing tech conference in the USA, from Las Vegas to New Orleans. In its first year, Collision attracted over 13,000 attendees from 109 countries around the globe
  • Lead Development – 105 projects representing about 16,000 jobs and $25B in capital investment
  • Site Inventory Portal – Created an in-depth mapping tool for all sites in the region, with access for all parish partners
  • Site Certification – Identified 75 potential sites across the region, with 6 new sites qualifying for LED’s Certified Sites Program
  • Familiarization Tours – Hosted 13 top site selectors during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, and over 15 videogame executives for a super-regional videogame familiarization tour – which will evolved into an annual “Game Fête” tour
  • Governor Jon Bel Edwards Economic Development Transition Team – GNO, Inc. CEO Michael Hecht was selected as the Co-Chair for the Governor’s Economic Development team, ensuring a continuing focus on supportive business conditions in Louisiana

Public Policy

State Policy

  • Internet Sales – Legislation to require Louisiana businesses to collect sales tax on internet sales was signed into law. This change in law paved the way for Amazon to announce it will begin to collect on sales in Louisiana. Potential value of uncollected sales taxes in Louisiana is estimated at $1.2B and growing
  • Incentives – Louisiana’s most valuable job creating incentives, including Quality Jobs and Digital Media, were protected during the course of the three legislative sessions dealing with Louisiana’s structural budget deficit
  • Reform for Louisiana’s Future (RFLF) – Key policy items included in RFLF have been implemented, including TOPS reform, expanding computer science training and requiring sales tax collections on internet sales

 Federal Policy

  • NFIP – Looking ahead to reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program in September 2017, GNO, Inc. reactivated the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI) to develop policy solutions to keep flood insurance affordable and improve the sustainability of the program, and has identified eight key areas for reform. CSFI is producing a series of white papers to identify and promote these policy priorities. To date, white papers on affordability and increasing consumer participation have been released. White papers on increasing mitigation and private market participation are slated for release in early 2017


  • World of Work / IT Everywhere – Sponsored by Capital One, 60 educators, who impact nearly 30,000 elementary and high school students, participated in onsite activities at SPAWAR, the City of New Orleans, and Ochsner Health Systems to expose them to IT careers across the GNO economy
  • GNO Career Guides – Funded by Chevron, GNO, Inc. designed and produced a compilation of career maps, research & data, and other materials for K-12 educators, administrators and policy makers showcasing high-wage, high-demand in Greater New Orleans


  • RES/CON 2016 – Successfully launched the first RES/CON conference in New Orleans, with the goal of becoming the premier global conference on resilience. Over 700 emergency managers, chief resilience officers, disaster and resilience professionals, academics, private sector contractors, innovators and investors, and more attended RES/CON from 37 states. Additionally, countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, France, Philippines, Haiti, Geneva, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Ghana, Korea, Nepal, Nigeria, Switzerland and the U.K were well represented
  • Financing Coastal Restoration – Michael Hecht was named to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Coastal Protection and Restoration Financing Commission
  • HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) – With direct engagement from GNO, Inc. and building off of the foundation of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana received over $233 million to implement resiliency and water management projects in Southeast Louisiana
  • Federal MOU Expediting Coastal Permits – As a result of outreach and engagement by GNO, Inc., environmental non-profit partners, and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), key federal agencies have signed an MOU to expedite coastal permitting at the federal level

Criminal Justice

  • Criminal Justice Reform Summit – GNO, Inc. partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce and LABI to produce the first business-led summit on criminal justice reform. The theme of the summit was how can we replicate best-practices in Louisiana, in order to better support our residents, protect our citizens and promote our economy
  • Crime Tech Task Force – GNO, Inc. harnessed the talent of local technology companies to form a group dedicated to technology-led business process improvements for the NOPD. The first three projects identified by the Task Force will put the equivalent of 40 police officers back on the street, and are currently being implemented

Leadership Development / Human Capital

  •  NextGen Council – As the NextGen Council of future leaders continues to evolve, a formal charter for the group was adopted, and NextGen “familiarization” trips were held to Michoud and to the Northshore
  • Regional YPO Partnership – A new partnership was developed with all of the Young Professional Organizations (YPOs) in the region, in order to facilitate cross-fertilization and regional cohesion for the next generation of leadership
  • NOLA Made – In partnership with 504ward and the NOLABA, GNO, Inc. helped produce the first NOLA Made, and local market held on Black Friday, as a “homecoming” for New Orleans expats. Approximately 250 attended the premiere NOLA Made, and the number is expected to grow significantly in the future

Ecosystem Development

  • New Orleans Startup Fund – NOSF, supported by GNO, Inc., named Jimmy Roussel as its new CEO. Since its inception in 2010, the fund has invested $1.75 million in over 25 local companies that in turn have raised over $24 million – for a multiple of more than 13 times the original NOSF investment
  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Update and Analysis – Collecting data from all of the regional entrepreneurial organizations, GNO, Inc. produced an analysis of the successes of the entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past 10 years, and the challenges that need to be addressed next

Southeastern Super Region

  • Panama Super Region Campus – GNO, Inc. developed and led the first-ever international Super-Region Canvas benchmarking trip, with 105 business leaders from GNO, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and the Bayou Region all traveling to Panama City
  • Panama Gateway International Association in New Orleans – Leveraging the Panama Canvas, GNO, Inc. co-sponsored the New Orleans conference for Panama Gateway International Association, bringing dozens together to discuss furthering New Orleans / Panama business ties


  • Water Management State of the Sector – Sponsored by Chevron, the Water Management “State of the Sector” details the 40,000+ jobs available in coastal restoration, levee management and other large environmental projects through 2025


  • Over 225 mentions in local press and over 50 in national and international press
  • Prominent mentions – Bloomberg, Washington Post, Politico, CBS News, Yahoo, Forbes, Travel and Leisure, Worth Magazine, NBA.com, The Hill, CNBC
  • Tricentennial – Michael Hecht (along with former Board Chair Leslie Jacobs) was named as co-chair of the 2018 Tricentennial Media and Branding Committee
  • Northshore Vision – In partnership with the Northshore Community Foundation, and Trumpet advertising, GNO, Inc. led a project to establish the brand and vision of the Northshore of the future. Developed tagline is: “The Northshore: North of Your Expectations”
  • STARs (STatistics, Awards, and Rankings):
    – #2 “Best City in America” – Travel and Leisure
    – #6 City for Happiest Workers in the USA – Indeed.com
    – #1 City for Most Efficient Public Spending – WalletHub
    – #2 Most-Cost Friendly City – KPMG
    – GNO, Inc. Named Top EDO in America – Site Selection
    – GNO, Inc. has 2 Named to Top 50 List – Consultant Connect
    – #7 City Destination in the USA for Millennials – Realtor.com
    – Greater New Orleans is #2 in Total Corporate Facility Wins – Site Selection
    – #7 Top Metro by Total Wins (South Central) – Site Selection
    – #2 State (Louisiana) Wins per Capita (South Central) – Site Selection
    – #6 State (Louisiana) by Wins per Capita (USA) – Site Selection
    – “Most Dynamic City in America” – Worth Magazine
    – New Orleans is #4 Best Affordable Destination in the USA – U.S. News and  World Report
    – #7 City in the World – Travel and Leisure
    – #3 City in the South for Major Projects – Southern Business and Development
    – #9 Most Generous City – Barna
    – #1 city in USA in International Tourism Growth – National Travel and Tourism Office
    – Louisiana FastStart Ranks #1 in the USA for 7th Year in a Row – Business Facilities
    – #2 Metro for Lowest Cost of Business – Business Facilities
    – #2Metro for Entrepreneurship Leaders – Business Facilities
    – #2 Metro for Logistics Leaders – Business Facilities
    – #1 City for Food in the USA – Travel and Leisure
    – #6 State Most Tax Friendly State (Louisiana) – Kiplinger
    – #2 City For Culture in the USA – Travel and Leisure
    – #5 State (Louisiana) for Business – Area Development
    – #4 “Most Fun” City in America – WalletHub
    – #7 State (Louisiana) for Women Entrepreneurs – Thumbtack
    – Greater New Orleans is #10 in the USA for Hispanic Entrepreneurs – GoodCall
    – #7 State (Louisiana) for Business – Site Selection
    – New Orleans is #1 in Population Growth in “Traditional Cities” – Public Square
  • Awards
    – GNO, Inc. ranked a “Top EDO in the USA”, out of 25,000 [Site Selection]
    – GNO, Inc. named a “America’s Leading EDCs (Economic Development Corporations)” in an inaugural feature by Global Trade magazine
    – CEO Michael Hecht and SVP Grady Fitzpatrick named “Top 50 Economic Developers in North America” by Consultant Connect