Wednesday, 23 May 2012 05:07

Louisiana Business: AT&T, Jindal, Dyno Nobel, WTCNO, Port of New Orleans

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louisianaAT&T Gets DHS Certification

AT&T is the first company in the nation to earn U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) certification for disaster preparedness and today Congressman Cedric Richmond, a member of the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, joined local officials to discuss the importance of disaster preparedness for Louisiana.

AT&T’s certification is the first under the DHS Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program. The PS-Prep™ program is administered by DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This program enables private sector organizations to enhance their capabilities for planning, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters and other threats.

Through his position on the Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Richmond works to ensure New Orleans and surrounding communities fully recover from recent devastation through oversight of FEMA. 

“With the start of hurricane season just around the corner, it is crucial that we have dependable communication networks to ensure we can protect our communities and enable a fast and effective response to disasters,” said Congressman Richmond. “Being proactive about continuity planning helps keep our communities, state and country as prepared as possible and I hope other companies and private businesses will follow AT&T’s lead on this critical issue.”

“AT&T has a long-standing commitment to being prepared to deliver the products and services our customers depend upon every day especially when disaster strikes,” said Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana. “We are proud to be the first company in the nation to attain Homeland Security certification, but this didn’t happen by accident.  We continually invest in our networks – including more than $1.2 billion from 2009 to 2011 here in Louisiana alone – and exercise our continuity program to ensure our business and network operations remain state-of-the-art.”

AT&T’s industry-leading Global Network Operations Center helps the company and its customers effectively continue operations during and after emergencies.  In addition, the company’s’ Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is designed to recover/maintain communications services in the wake of disasters and includes a fleet of more than 320 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same type of equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center.

 Dyno Nobel International and Governor Jindal


Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and Simon Atkinson, president of Dyno Nobel International, announced the company will complete a $30 million study to establish the feasibility of building an $800 million ammonia production facility in Waggaman. The plant would produce 750,000 metric tons per year at Cornerstone Chemical Company’s existing complex on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish.

The proposed project would create 50 new permanent jobs for Cornerstone Chemical, while Dyno Nobel would create another 10 new permanent jobs at the site. The 60 new direct jobs would result in 440 new indirect jobs. Salaries for the new direct jobs would average nearly $58,000 per year, plus benefits, and the project would retain 441 existing Cornerstone jobs.


Parents can now apply to participate in Louisiana’s recently expanded voucher program, which extends eligibility to nearly 380,000 children statewide to receive state-funded scholarships to attend a participating private or public school of their parents’ choice.

Enacted in 2008 for families in Orleans Parish, the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) program was expanded last month to students across the state. With the passage of House Bill 976, K-12 students statewide who currently attend a public school labeled “C,” “D”, or “F,” are eligible to participate in the program, which currently serves over 1,800 students exclusively in New Orleans. Students entering kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year also are eligible. 

In addition to these requirements, families must have a household income not exceeding 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($47,725 for a family of three, $57,625 for a family of four, $67,525 for a family of five, and $77,425 for a family of six).

Parents can apply to enroll their children in the program by downloading an application online at Applications will also be accessible on-site at any participating school. Completed applications must be submitted to a participating school no later than Friday, June 29.

Scholarship recipients will be determined through a prioritized lottery operated by the Department of Education. All applicants will be notified of the lottery results no later than July 31.

“After seeing tremendous success from the program in New Orleans, we are excited that this opportunity has been expanded to families in need throughout our state,” said the Louisiana Federation for Children’s Lauren Perry. “We urge eligible parents to seize this opportunity to provide their child with a quality education and renewed hope for a much brighter future.”

More than 100 schools are participating in the first year of the expanded program offering nearly 5,000 seats.

For more information about the sign-up period, visit

World Trade Center of New Orleans

The World Trade Center of New Orleans has been designated as a partner by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.  In celebration of World Trade Day, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency launched Making Global Local, an initiative designed to connect towns and cities across the country with USTDA's export-promoting programs.

With the launch of the Making Global Local initiative, USTDA announced the following partners: World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, Missouri International Trade and Investment Office, Erie County (NY) Industrial Development Agency, Duquesne University Small Business Development Center, Vermont Economic Development Authority, World Trade Center of New Orleans, Export Finance Assistance Center of Washington, Denver Sister Cities International, and the Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Over the past year, U.S. companies have increasingly targeted emerging economies as export destinations. Given its unique role, USTDA is positioned to support U.S. businesses interested in entering or expanding their presence in developing and middle-income countries. By understanding the Agency’s programs, Making Global Local partners will help companies in their communities maximize the benefits of working with USTDA.

Partner organizations include local non-profit or governmental entities that have demonstrated a commitment to supporting the creation of jobs in their community through the growth of U.S. exports. USTDA seeks to forge new partnerships with local organizations across the country, such as World Trade Centers, local non-profit economic development organizations, state or municipal governmental entities, and others.

For more information on the initiative, or to learn more about becoming a partner organization, please visit">

Salazar and Tensas River

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today identified river projects in 11 Midwestern and southern states to serve as models of the America’s Great Outdoors Rivers to conserve and restore key rivers across the nation, expand outdoor recreational opportunities and support jobs in local communities.

The 11 river projects are part of a list of 51 ongoing projects that the Secretary is highlighting nationwide, one in each state and the District of Columbia. Ranging from the restoration of the Milwaukee River in Wisconsin to the establishment of the Pascagoula River Blueway in Mississippi, today’s projects were selected to provide examples for how communities across

A map and more detailed descriptions of the river initiatives highlighted by Salazar can be accessed">here. Additional river projects across the nation will be announced in the coming days.

In Louisiana, the designated river is the Tensas.

Louisiana: Tensas River –">Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Paddling Trail
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to designate a paddling trail along the Tensas River on the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, which contains one of the largest remaining contiguous tracts of bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  

“America has more than 3.6 million miles of rivers and streams, and nearly every American lives within a mile of a river or stream, making them some of the nation’s most important recreational and ecological assets,” Salazar added. “America’s Great Outdoors Rivers will help fulfill President Obama’s vision for healthy and accessible rivers as we work to restore and conserve our nation’s treasured waterways.”

Port of New Orleans

Port of New Orleans Board of Director meeting will be held tomorrow.  Here are actions required at the meeting:

VI.          Actions Required

A.            Consider Award of a Construction Contract to C.E.C, Inc., for Seabrook Bridge Fender System Repairs, Vessel Allision Repairs, and Major Maintenance Repairs (Ms. Keller) 

B.            Consider Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the President and Chief Executive Officer to Enter into an Amendment to the Contract with Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc., for Additional Work for Design of the Milan St. Marshaling Yard Asphalt Paving Project (Ms. Keller)

C.            Consider Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the President and Chief Executive Officer to Enter into an Agreement with CSX Transportation, Inc., for Work Associated with the Almonaster Avenue Bridge Repairs Necessitated by Hurricane Katrina (Ms. Keller)

D.            Consider Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the President and Chief Executive Officer to Amend the Boards Lease with Star Marine Fleeting, LLC, to Add 1,000 Linear Feet of Water Space to the Present Leased Area on the Right Descending Bank of the Mississippi River near Mile 91 AHP  (Mr. Zimmermann)

E.            Consider Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the President and Chief Executive Officer to Amend the Agreement with Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corp., to Grant to Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corp., Two Additional 5-year Renewal Options on its Terminal Drive Warehouse Lease. (Mr. Donner)

F.            Consider Approval of a Resolution Appointing Mr. Christian D. Bonura to the Harbor Police Retirement System Board of Trustees.  (Mr. Gallwey)

G.           Consider Approval of a Resolution Concurring in the Selection by the Harbor Police Retirement System (HPRS) of Rigby Financial Group to Provide Auditing Services to HPRS for Three Years (Mr. Gallwey)

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