Earlier this month, Greater New Orleans was chosen as the “Co-Major Market of the Year” by Southern Business & Development magazine. “New Orleans is undoubtedly the South’s comeback kid of the decade,” wrote the publication. What’s nice about this distinction is that it is not based just on opinion but on fact – our region added as many jobs over the last year as any other, excepting Charlotte, with whom we tied. And what’s especially nice about this distinction is that just three years ago a team from GNO, Inc. traveled to Charlotte to benchmark their economic development practice, known to be one of the best in the country. And now we share the podium.
And Louisiana as a whole, in significant part driven by Greater New Orleans, is also receiving remarkable job-driven accolades. Since 2006, Louisiana has added more jobs than 48 other states in the union. And since 2009, our state added more information technology jobs than anyone – leading the U.S. in tech growth (that’s raw numbers, not just percentages). All of this culminated with Louisiana being named “State of the Year” by Southern Business & Development for the third time in a row.
Of course, all of this means we now have to work that much harder to consolidate our gains. Our success is due to a special mixture of leadership, energy, and alignment, from the State Capitol down to the corner store – and it is certainly not guaranteed. As we did this legislative session, now is the time to double-down on economic development, to ensure that the Comeback Kid is here to stay.
Michael Hecht President and CEO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.