New Orleans, one of the South’s largest major tourist cities with a high-grossing land-based casino and more than 500 bars within the city limits, made history today by becoming the largest city in Louisiana to unanimously pass a comprehensive, 100 percent smoke-free ordinance.
The New Orleans City Council for their unanimous vote today in favor of protecting the health of all New Orleans employees by making all workplaces, including bars and gaming establishments, smoke-free.
The smoke-free measure, championed by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Guidry, ensures that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace. The ordinance will go into effect 90 days from passage.
“We are tremendously grateful to all the key city officials who stood up and took action to protect the health of all employees;” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL). “We want to send a special thanks to the ordinance sponsors Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry. These leaders not only did the right thing for the health of all New Orleans citizens, but they have continued paving the way for other cities and the state to hopefully do the same.”
“The city of New Orleans has just become a very important leader in the fight against cancer,” said Ryan West, Louisiana Government Relations Director. “We are very grateful to the city council for listening to the voices of New Orleanians and passing an ordinance ensuring bar and casino workers will no longer have to choose between their health and a paycheck.”
“We are so thankful to the officials who decided to protect all citizens and visitors in our great city from secondhand smoke,” said Kay Eddleman, American Heart Association Louisiana Advocacy Committee chairperson. “This law will save many lives from cardiovascular disease, our city’s biggest health threat.”
“Today is a great example of strong leadership understanding the health hazards that secondhand smoke causes and representing the voices of the non-smoking majority,” said Onjewel Smith, Southern States Regional Consultant, Americans for Non-smokers Rights Foundation. “New Orleans now joins other top tourist destinations that feature comprehensive smoke-free ordinances, including Dallas, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Honolulu, and New York City.”
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Tech Talent South, a technology training school with locations throughout the southern United States, is opening in New Orleans and accepting applications for enrollment in their training program. Their arrival will support the rapid growth of the technology industry in Greater New Orleans by preparing tech enthusiasts for employment with many of the digital media companies in the region.
“Greater New Orleans, Inc. is very excited to welcome Tech Talent South to New Orleans,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “After several years of technology companies growing in the region, Tech Talent South will be an integral part of preparing local residents for well-paying jobs in their offices.”
"Tech Talent South is thrilled to be bringing our Code Immersion Programs to New Orleans,” said Tech Talent South Co-Founder Richard Simms. “As we explored new markets to expand into in 2015, the awesome activity percolating in New Orleans and the warm reception we received from the great folks in the tech/startup community down there really made it a no brainer. With such a rich culture and community full of creative and inventive folks, we know that New Orleans has the potential to become a major tech hub on a national level and, we want to do our part to help.”
“We welcome Tech Talent South to New Orleans and are proud they selected our city as a place to do business – providing access and opportunities to our residents,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Tech Talent South directly aligns with our Economic Opportunity Strategy, training New Orleanians for high-wage workforce opportunities and pathways to prosperity.”
Local digital design and software engineering company Revelry Labs will be providing a scholarship to cover tuition and a MacBook for a qualified female applicant to the program.
“New Orleans and Tech Talent South are extremely well matched,” said Melissa Ehlinger, Interim President & CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “Tech Talent South adds a much-needed component to our creative digital media employment pipeline. It is a fast-track to jobs for local residents. For local employers, it is an additional piece of the puzzle to expedite growth of the city’s employee pool. All in all, a great new asset for New Orleans.”
Tech Talent South currently operates in Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte and Atlanta, offering a wide range of course offerings that range from multi-language programs to advanced teaching of specific disciplines. The schools also offer youth programming for local students interested in learning more about working with technology.
More information can be found at techtalentsouth.com.