More than a dozen people in Shreveport have started a job training program this week made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It could lead to a full-time job next month. Southern University at Shreveport is administering the grant that provides environmental health and safety training certifications.

Jason Saul / WWNO

President Obama is heading to New Orleans this morning. He selected the port of New Orleans as the backdrop for a speech on the importance of exports. And others are hoping for moment to discuss other economic issues.

Save the UNO Children's Center

This month the University of New Orleans sent out a notice, saying its child daycare facility would close December 20. The reason given? It loses money, at a time when the university is facing severe budget cuts. That leaves 81 children in need of new child care options.

At dusk, parents descend on the UNO lakefront campus to collect their little ones from daycare. But a few weeks ago, they lingered — to browse brochures for different child care. Word was out, the UNO Children’s Center was closing.

“It breaks our hearts, you know?”

Brookings Institution

There’s a new picture of poverty in America. It’s a shifting geography that may come as a surprise. Suburbia is now home to more poor residents than central cities in major metropolitan areas.

Income Upshot, from Marketplace’s Wealth and Poverty Desk, is a data visualization tool that tracks the relationship between what we make and how we live, work and play. It uses data from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau, marketing firms and academic researchers to explore how much someone’s income says about their lifestyle and consumer behavior.

In his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative. As the country was emerging from the Great Recession, the President said he wanted the U.S. to double exports by 2014.

Only four of the top 100 metro areas in the country are on track to meet that goal. Baton Rouge is one. New Orleans is another. That's according to the Brookings Institution's latest "Export Nation" report, which was released earlier this week.

A recent study by the Louisiana Budget Project gives a snapshot of the state’s economy from the perspective of the workers themselves.

The Idea Village

Penny Pritzker, the newly appointed Secretary of Commerce, dropped in on meetings with small business owners at the Idea Village as part of a countrywide listening tour.

Pritzker also brought a big check with her — money destined to help the entrepreneurs the Idea Village serves.

New Orleans Remembers Katrina, 8 Years Later

Aug 29, 2013

More than 1,800 people were killed by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods eight years ago.

New Orleans was one of the hardest-hit places, particularly its Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, where some of the city’s poorest residents live. It’s still struggling to recover.

But business leaders proudly point to how New Orleans has recently been designated a top boomtown and “aspirational” city in the U.S.

Journalist James O’Byrne says New Orleanians are more optimistic about their city now than they’ve ever been.

A report released Thursday by the Louisiana Budget Project says although worker productivity in the state is at an all-time high, wages remain stagnant and unemployment is on the rise.