economy

New Orleans Index At Eight: Highs And Lows As The City Moves Beyond Rebuilding

Aug 29, 2013
NASA

Before Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed, the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center documented neighborhoods, and tracked social and economic indicators in the city.

The Board of Regents, the state's top higher education panel, is hoping to entice thousands of Louisiana college graduates who left the state to return home and fill what is expected to be a wave of new high-technology jobs.

The initiative, called Operation Recall, will target more than 40,000 people, many of whom have degrees in computer science and engineering.

It’s been eight years this month since Hurricane Katrina. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center has been measuring data to see how far the recovery has come, and where the city is heading.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

Today is the final day for the LA Swift bus. That’s the commuter bus between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, started shortly after Hurricane Katrina. It has provided transport between the cities for just a few dollars, by far the cheapest option available.

Downtown at Tulane and Loyola Avenues, Carrie Robicheaux waits for the Swift bus back to Baton Rouge, after a trip to see her New Orleans doctor. She’s taken this bus since she moved away after Katrina.

New Orleans tourism officials kicked off a national bus tour scheduled to stop in regions most at risk from climate change. Those officials are linking jobs and coastal restoration.

New Orleans has been judged by Forbes Magazine to be America’s fastest-growing city since 2007. But that distinction may be a bit hard to pinpoint when no other American city was more affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

multisanti / Flickr

This week the city unveiled a public-private venture to grow the local economy, called Prosperity NOLA. Rod Miller is CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, and Aimee Quirk is Economic Development Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Both sat down with WWNO’s Eve Troeh to talk about the goal: to make New Orleans a more attractive place for specific types of business, in the next five years.

Aimee Quirk described how the plan developed, with more than 200 business, government, nonprofit and higher education leaders.

The former head of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Kurt Foreman, is keeping a close eye on the rebuilding process in tornado-ravaged Moore, Okla., as executive vice president of economic development at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. His chamber represents 5,400 companies, Foreman said, and now the focus is on helping the ones in Moore.

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is hosting the fifth annual World Cultural Economic Forum this week. It’s part of the US Conference of Mayors' drive to harness the financial power of art and culture.

A study from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center is warning that the post-Katrina money which has protected southeast Louisiana from the worst of the national recession will start winding down. Experts are advising a regional approach to economic growth.

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