We work hard to make sure our communities can too.

New Orleans Workforce Innovations

The New Orleans Workforce Innovations Program partners with employers to provide post-hire support to their incumbents in an effort to assist with those barriers employees face that may or may not be associated with their day to day work, but that impacts their ability to effectively do their job. The program is structured to be a compliment to the employer’s current Employee Assistant Program (EAP) but allows for deeper comprehensive engagement of services on the local level. Employees of member organizations are provided with linkages to resources like housing, childcare, stress management and financial asset building provided by way of a Workforce Navigator who is located on the employer’s site. We are also a member of the nationwide post-hire support network, Work Lab Innovations.

A Benefit Like No Other- Post-hire Support

Everyone shows up to their job with a different background, experience, and current set of circumstances. We all struggle with barriers that interfere with getting to work, staying engaged, and remaining productive. Whether it is transportation, housing, or financial issues, our strengths and barriers can either enable us or hold us back in reaching our full potential on the job. We believe all employees have the potential to be of great value to our community and economy, but not all people are equally supported to do so. Our onsite post-hire support offered via our Workforce Navigators provide services to all employees who may need it, with particular emphasis on supporting young, front line and middle-skilled New Orleanian workers.

Workforce Sustainability & Employer Benefits

As an employer with competing priorities and an already full plate, you do not always have the time and resources to ensure your workforce is thriving. Add in the high cost of housing and lack of affordable childcare options, and your employees may need additional support so they can show up and be engaged while at work. That’s where we come in. As a fee for service initiative, New Orleans Workforce Innovation services can become part of an employer’s benefits package.

Workforce Navigator

Workforce Navigators offer individualized, confidential assistance, connect employees with services and community resources, assist with customized planning for work and life stability, and provide career and financial coaching. Navigators are on-site and available for as long as an employee needs or desires assistance.

Workforce Navigators bring resources in-house and provide access to:

  • Child Care
  • Elder Care
  • Transportation
  • Communication
  • Career Coaching
  • Mental Health
  • Budgeting
  • Housing
  • Relationships
  • Healthcare

By helping workers address a range of life issues and challenges, we minimize work disruptions, decrease absenteeism, improve workers’ financial stability, and ultimately increase employee retention and engagement.

New Orleans Works (NOW)

The New Orleans Works collaborative was launched in 2011 as one of 35 local workforce collaborative sites of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS). NOW brings together public, private, and philanthropic organizations to target financial resources to the needs of jobseekers, incumbent workers, and employers in high growth, high turnover, industry-specific sectors. NOW creates partnerships with employers, builds capacity, and fosters public policy, advocacy to create robust and long-lived relationships among employers, workers, education, and training/service providers to enhance a cohesive pipeline to front-line jobs and career ladders.

New Orleans’ unemployment rate is a modest 4.8%. However, this official statistic does not accurately capture the large number of individuals over the age of 16 who are not participating in the labor market. In New Orleans, it is estimated that as many as 40% of black men do not participate in the labor force. While the reasons for this are complex, provided the right training and employment opportunities, many of these individuals would contribute to the productivity of both the companies that employ them and the community at large.

NOW is committed to more than just filling jobs. Its goal is to create an environment with opportunities for higher wages, better benefits, and career advancement for the region’s workforce. NOW’s goals are to:

  • Help unemployed and underemployed individuals attain family-supporting jobs
  • Identify and address the shared needs of employers with proven program models so they and their employees can be more efficient, productive and competitive
  • Increase the capacity and resources available for education and training services to develop skills an build careers to meet employer requirements
  • Align with the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans’ workforce development programs to connect workforce development to education and economic development in a cohesive and seamless system

Happy woman applying for a job on a laptop

History of New Orleans Works (NOW)

The NOW Collaborative is housed at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Current and historical collaborative members include Capital One Foundation, the City of New Orleans, Entergy, Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the New Orleans Business Alliance, Prudential Foundation, Surdna Foundation, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Urban Strategies, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Collaborative began convening in 2011 and launched its first workforce partnership in 2013, deciding to focus on employers in the healthcare sector given the tremendous growth in this area in recent years.

Since its inception, NOW has provided over $1,000,000 in planning and implementation grants to four employers: Ochsner Health System, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System, Daughters of Charity, and LCMC Health. Collectively, these partnerships have trained almost 500 jobseekers and incumbent workers for the healthcare industry. NOW has also facilitated the career advancement of more than 400 Medical Assistants at Ochsner Health System who received a wage increase of between 50 cents to $2.25 per hour as well as facilitated systems change within organizations (including the development of a workforce development department at Ochsner) and employer contributions to support programs for entry level staff like the Hudson Thomas Initiative at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System.

Want to know more?

To learn more about our workforce initiatives, get in touch with Kristina Kent