Louisiana Business: Mark Lewis leaving LTC, Jindal and Tech College, Ports at risk, N.O. Biotech

louisianaToday, Governor Bobby Jindal marked the opening of the new L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College campus development. 

The new development will house facilities including the new Coastal Commerce Library, an academic resource learning center, student services offices, nine computer labs, and 25 classrooms for arts, sciences, accounting and business programs. 



Since 2008, the Jindal administration has appropriated and financed more than a half a billion dollars in critical higher education infrastructure investments across the state. This total includes general fund and capital outlay investments, including $225 million for Louisiana Community and Technical College campuses. At Fletcher, Governor Jindal supported $21.3 million in financing for the construction and development of the new campus development. 

Governor Jindal said, “Investing dollars at Fletcher and throughout our community and technical college system was one of my first acts as Governor. We made a commitment to improve the campuses and learning environment for students because we know the community and technical college system is a critical pipeline for ensuring that we have skilled workers in Louisiana. Indeed, the campus is a training ground to make sure that we continue to have the most highly-skilled workforce in the country. If we continue to train the best workers in the world, that means we can continue to attract companies who want to invest in Louisiana and create opportunities for our people to pursue their dreams here at home.” 

The development was completed in 18 months and will begin serving students in August for the new school year. The new site is located less than ten miles from Nicholls State University and will support Fletcher and Nicholls students by providing cross enrollment opportunities between the two institutions.

 Strain assesses low river levels     

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) continues to monitor the low river levels particularly at the Port of Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish which is preventing shipments of grain, including corn and soybeans, from leaving the area. LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is working with local and state officials on enlisting the help of the U.S. Corps of Engineers to dredge the area.

Strain said, “This issue could become disastrous and we need the Corps to focus on this problem. While Louisiana is not experiencing a drought, the rest of the country is. This is a problem for our farmers in the area and the economy. We’re in harvest season and if our farmers can’t get their grain to market, it will impact their livelihood.”

Grain travels from the Port of Lake Providence to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge where it is shipped to the rest of the world. A barge can carry 1,500-1,600 tons of grain. Direct economic losses could potentially be up to $350 million.  

Louisiana agricultural exports totaled $14.25 billion in the first quarter of 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division. “This is why dredging all Louisiana ports is necessary. Louisiana is a major exporter of corn and soybeans among other commodities,” added Strain.

Mark Lewis Leaving Louisiana Technology Council

To the Technology and Business Community:

As head of the LTC for almost 10 years we have had some amazing accomplishments, and I cannot begin to thank you enough for your support of the development of the technology industry. I have always felt since day one (when we coined the phrase Louisiana - Technology Capital of the South) that technology could be a thriving industry in our state and its happening, and I am confident that the foundation has been set for the technology industry to continue to thrive in the years ahead. I am eternally grateful for your support, and there is NO WAY we could have accomplished anything without it. For that, I am truly blessed.

I have been given the opportunity to enhance my career in entrepreneurship and business development. As the result, I have accepted a position with Simmons & White as a partner to help organizations with their unique challenges in business management and development, consulting, turnaround strategies, start up and bankruptcy support, merger and acquisitions, marketing and branding, and much more. My overall objective is to use my experience to help businesses grow; so if I can help you please let me know.

Capital Area United Way

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced Capital Area United Way (CAUW) in Baton Rouge has been selected for a $2 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Landrieu strongly supported $45 million for the SIF as part of the fiscal year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill.  This is the first SIF grant made directly to an organization in Louisiana.


CAUW will use the grant to fund eight to 12 organizations that will replicate and/or expand early childhood development programs to increase school readiness among children in low-income and rural parishes within the Greater Baton Rouge area, including East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, Livingston, Ascension, St. Helena, and St. James Parishes. 

“Investments in early childhood development programs help ensure that more children, especially high-need children, enter school ready and able to succeed.” Sen. Landrieu said. “I congratulate the Capital Area United Way for their commitment to Louisiana’s children and hope to see the Social Innovation Fund continue to invest in our many worthy community-based nonprofits.” 

In July 2011, CAUW launched a 10-year commitment to early childhood development. CAUW will build community impact initiatives related to early childhood success and its link to the economic wellbeing of rural and low-income parishes. CAUW will measure children’s school readiness by examining indicators of improved birth outcomes; parental engagement, support, and education to meet the needs of their young children.

 SIF is an innovative approach to transforming lives and communities that uses limited federal investment as a catalyst for private and public collaborations that grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of strong results. The fund leverages its federal investment by requiring a match by the grant recipient as well as its nonprofit sub-grantee, resulting in a 3:1 match. Using this model, 200 SIF-funded sites operating around the country have used $95 million in federal investments to leverage $250 million of additional private money. It has enabled them to scale up evidence-supported best practices and increase the total impact of these nonprofit organizations. 



rand Opening of the Hyatt Regency in the BioDistrict

Hyatt Regency in the BioDistrict



BioTech Day, III -- Annual Luncheon

October 23, 2012

Storyville Ballroom at the Hyatt

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  

The Third Annual BioTech Day has been scheduled for October 23rd and will feature two internationally renown urban planners Mr. Tom Murphy of the Urban Land Institute and Mr. David Dixon of Goody Clancy.

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, ULI



Mr. Tom Murphy is a senior resident fellow, ULI/Klingbeil Family Chair for urban development. Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, lead the conversion of Pittsburgh from a steel based industry economy to Meds and Eds, an Innovation Economy based on University research. He will speak to what it will take for New Orleans to make a similar change. 

David Dixon

David Dixon, Goody Clancy




Mr. David Dixon, the Principle In Charge of Goody Clancy, will speak about the integration of the City Master Land Use Plan, the BioDistrict Master Plan, innovation districts in Boston, MA and Seattle, WA and other planning efforts underway like the Claiborne Avenue Corridor Study.


Please mark you calendars. This will be an extraordinary event that takes the BioDistrict and the City of New Orleans another step forward




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