• Ben Shenk

Launch NOLA Green Graduates Prepare for Major Contracts

Updated: Feb 13

The small businesses that have graduated from the Launch NOLA Green Business Academy have the opportunity to install 20+ residential stormwater management (SWM) projects as a part of the NORA Community Adaptation Program (CAP) in Gentilly.

These residential stormwater landscaping retrofits have been designed to provide graduates with 3-fold benefits, as they grow and practice their technical SWM skills through hands-on application and develop their project and team leadership, all while increasing their revenues through the contracts.

These opportunities have been made possible through an intentional partnership between APTIM, Design Jones, CAG LLC, and Launch NOLA Green.

“Together, through intentional partnership with APTIM as the lead on the Community Adaptation Program, we’re able to walk alongside Launch NOLA Green Graduates to help them develop from doing hands-on installation, to acting as a subcontractor, to leading teams as project manager.” Remarked Chuck Morse, Executive Director of Thrive New Orleans, Launch NOLA’s parent nonprofit.

The impact of the APTIM partnership extends beyond workforce training and contract dollars, creating practical outcomes that positively effect economic and environmental justice issues that local minority businesses and communities face in New Orleans. The city’s 2015 Resilience Assessment clearly shows that communities with higher concentration of low-income and residents of color are at higher risk for flooding.

“These local businesses are not just reinventing their businesses, they’re reinventing their own communities to create a more sustainable future.” Said Morse. “After Katrina, millions of dollars went to companies outside of New Orleans to rebuild the city. This partnership will help flip that script, with our city’s dollars going to the businesses and families who have the most to gain: those who call New Orleans home.”

Allyson Wilson, CEO of CAG LLC, the general contractor facilitating the contract opportunities for other Launch NOLA Graduates expressed her excitement to be partner in this opportunity, saying, “This partnership is really all about creating a better future for New Orleans through a cycle of resiliency. Resilient businesses are creating more resilient neighborhoods, while the grant dollars that are reinvested into local minority owned businesses create even more resilient businesses and communities. And when our communities and businesses thrive, the whole city wins.”

Currently, the exact date that Launch NOLA Green graduates will begin the work is to be determined, but APTIM Project Manager, Kia Bickham is confident that the partners are ready once the date is announced. “Our team of partners and local businesses are using this time to coordinate on the front end, so that when we get the green light we’re in a position to deliver high quality work that will reduce flooding and that Gentilly homeowners will be proud of.”

Launch NOLA Green’s programming and partnerships are made possible through generous funders, like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, BCM, EPNO, and LED, who are dedicated to creating a more equitable and resilient New Orleans’ through business, environmental, and community development.



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