CORTEC, L.L.C. wins state award

 CORTEC, L.L.C. Founder Bobby Corte, Jr. accepts the Lantern Award from Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson with Stephen Corte (left), Thomas Chauvin and Larry Chauvin on June 5, 2018 at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.

CORTEC, L.L.C. Founder Bobby Corte, Jr. accepts the Lantern Award from Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson with Stephen Corte (left), Thomas Chauvin and Larry Chauvin on June 5, 2018 at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.

HOUMA, June 4, 2018 – Houma-based CORTEC, LLC, was recently honored for its excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to the community with the State of Louisiana’s Lantern Award for the Bayou Region.

“Manufacturers drive Louisiana’s economy in the most important ways,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “They provide good-paying jobs and have a strong multiplier effect, creating even more jobs outside their facilities. Harnessing our talented workforce, they compete in and win in a global economy as they produce vital products that are in demand by companies and consumers.”

Award nominees are judged on contributions to the community, including investment in employment growth and facility expansion, as well as sustaining and growing operations at least three years prior to the award. The 15-year-old CORTEC is undergoing expansion at both its Port Allen and Houma facilities.

CORTEC’s 156 employees design, manufacture, sell and service valve and manifold products for the oil-and-gas industry through the company’s two divisions: Cortec Fluid Control in Houma and Cortec Manifold Systems in Port Allen. From engineering to assembling, through coating to shipping, CORTEC handles the entire process for quality control. Its valves, chokes and flow-line component products are shipped to the Gulf of Mexico and shale plays in the United States as well as internationally to Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Since launching the Lantern Awards in 1979, LED has recognized more than 300 Louisiana manufacturing businesses with its partners, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and the Louisiana Quality Foundation. Award winners receive lanterns handcrafted and donated by Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights of New Orleans.

This year’s award to CORTEC, L.L.C., continues a family tradition, as the Corte family previously received a Lantern Award when it owned and operated COR-VAL, Inc., founded by Bobby Corte, Sr.

 

Our opinion: Diversifying Economy is Difficult but Worthwhile

Efforts to diversify the local economy – shifting its overwhelming focus from oil and gas to other, varied industries – have proven largely futile.

But there is every reason to continue this worthwhile, long-term goal that would remove some local workers’ dependency on a mostly robust but cyclical industry.

The oil and gas slowdown that has cost so many thousands of local workers their jobs is yet another reminder that no matter how lucrative oil and gas can be, depending too much on any one sector of the economy holds certain risks.

So it’s good to see the push for diversification continuing.

“Take a sector with an existing strength and within that identify a specialty. If you invest heavily into technology, you end up with a new specialty within that industry,” Terrebonne Economic Development Authority CEO Matt Rookard said. “Then you can look at applying that to other industries.”

He used as an example an attempt to use the Houma-Terrebonne Airport as a hub for unmanned aircraft, which could eventually expand into use in coastal restoration or storm damage assessment.

“These things don’t exist as we sit here today, but if you can deploy that technology, there’s opportunity to create them,” Rookard said.

Although it’s a good example, it is but one way TEDA and others are trying to open up the local economy to new companies and ventures that might eventually produce the kind of diversity other areas enjoy.

While the oil and gas industry has been a valuable local partner for workers and businesses, having all the region’s eggs in one industrial basket makes us more vulnerable to the fluctuations in that market.

The more our area can cultivate other industries, the better we can insulate ourselves against the slowdowns that are inevitable in every portion of the economy.

We have proven time and again that our workers and our local companies are incredibly useful to the oilfield industry. These same workers and others would contribute mightily to any industry in which they have training and education and in which there are employment opportunities available.

We don’t lose anything by trying to grow more and different opportunities for our workers and the many others who rely on the local economy. But failing to do so would be a terrible lack of planning and preparation.

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.

DailyComet.com

 

Houma Main Street Seeks Grant Applicants

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The old City Court building in downtown Houma was renovated in 2011 with help from Louisiana Main Street grants.  

Efforts to revitalize downtown Houma could continue this year with the opportunity for restoration grants from Louisiana Main Street.

Each year, the state program offers grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for commercial building and business owners in historic downtown areas. Houma Main Street is once again offering its services to local businesses and property owners downtown who are interested in applying.

“Over the years, Houma Main Street has received nearly $80,000 in redevelopment grant funds from the Louisiana Main Street program, initiating $500,000 in local projects costs, plus associated jobs and economic stimulation,” Houma Main Street Manager Anne Picou said.

To be eligible, a building must be in the historic downtown Houma district and be at least 50 years old. The grants have a 50 percent match with the applicant, meaning that if a project is awarded a $5,000 grant, the business or property owner must also invest $5,000, Picou said.

Only one grant can be awarded for each Main Street district. Once applications are submitted to the Houma Main Street, the organization’s board will choose a project to submit to the state program.

In her 17 years with Houma Main Street, Picou said, the agency has helped secure grants for projects by Fakier Jewelers, the renovation of the former City Court building by Lori Davis, new signage at People’s Drug Store and the renovation of Rubicon Salon.

The grants are intended to preserve the historic character downtown, she said.

For example, if someone submits a project to change the facade of a historic property, that could undermine the outlook or integrity of the building. Instead, Main Street wants to work with business owners to keep the original integrity of the building, while modernizing it for new use, Picou said.

Even a simple sign project can promote economic development, she said.

“The Main Street program totally agrees with signage as a way to do economic development,” she said.

Having a large, attractive sign can draw in business and make a building recognizable.

Years ago, grants could be awarded for as much as $25,000, but budget cuts have reduced funding for the program, Picou said.

In the case of Rubicon Salon, when a tire store abandoned the building to move to a new location, the property left Main Street organizers wondering what to do.

“By grace of god, (Rubicon Salon) turned it into upscale salon,” Picou said. “It’s a genuine project, keeping the essence of historical building ... but still modernizing the inside elements.”

The old City Court building has a similar story. The parish was considering tearing it down and converting it into parking before Davis purchased the property and turn it into a commercial and residential property, Picou said.

“More and more people living downtown,” she said. “I try to explain that to people. Don’t give up.”

Several downtown businesses have already expressed interest in the program, which has become simpler over the years, Picou said.

The application deadline is 1 p.m. June 18. Applications can be obtained by calling Picou at 873-6408.

By Julia Arenstam, Staff Writer, can be reached at 448-7636 orjulia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.

Efforts to Diversify Economy Continue

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One effort focuses on making the Houma-Terrebonne Airport a hub for unmanned aircraft.

Recent studies have shown that for Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to boost their economies, they should diversify their economies so they are less reliant on the oil industry.

But complete diversification isn’t going to happen overnight, Terrebonne Economic Development Authority CEO Matt Rookard said.

TEDA hired Garner Economics to study the local economy in 2016. The report suggests one resource with potential is the Houma-Terrebonne Airport.

As a result, TEDA is partnering with Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever and the airport to bring an unmanned aviation system to Terrebonne Parish.

TEDA is working to create a public-private partnership for research and development on how to bring this new technology to the parish, Rookard said.

Contrary to the popular concept of smaller, almost-hand-held-size drones, these unmanned aircraft are more like full-size helicopters without pilots, he said.

This kind of technology is mainly used for military purposes but has applications in commercial industries like oil and gas.

Once formed, the public-private partnership will seek research dollars to fund the program.

“Take a sector with an existing strength and within that identify a specialty. If you invest heavily into technology, you end up with a new specialty within that industry,” Rookard said. “Then you can look at applying that to other industries.”

Terrebonne’s existing strength is the oil industry, specializing in logistics. By investing heavily into unmanned aviation systems that can be used in that field, the technology can later expand into other industries, such as coastal restoration, Rookard said. Insurance companies can use unmanned aircraft to assess damage after storms.

“These things don’t exist as we sit here today, but if you can deploy that technology, there’s opportunity to create them,” he said.

In December, representatives of TEDA, Nicholls, Fletcher and the airport traveled to the University of North Dakota to get an inside look at its unmanned aircraft program and explore a possible partnership, Rookard said.

Right now, the group is looking for funding.

The airport has committed some funds to make infrastructure upgrades but in order to get approval from the Federal Aviation Authority, more work is needed.

TEDA has also been working on scholarship programs for minority-owned contracting businesses to receive accreditation training to compete for local construction jobs.

“A lot of these contracts go to the same people over and over because there’s only so many qualified companies,” Rookard said.

The agency is also working with the Entergy workforce-development program to train students for jobs utility companies are looking to fill.

TEDA will present other diversification and economic-development plans later this month to the Terrebonne Parish Council, Rookard said. He declined to comment on specifics.

-- Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 orjulia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.

ENTERGY -- Operation: Storm Ready

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The 2018 hurricane season begins June 1 and before it begins, we want our customers
to know that while we are hoping for the best, we are prepared for the worst.

• Safety is a core value at Entergy and remains top priority for our workers and customers.
• In the first three days following a storm, we work on:
- Assessing damage to deploy the right number of personnel with the right material.
- Restoring minimally damaged power plants and large transmission lines.
- Repairing substations and distribution lines that serve critical customers, like hospitals, police, water, drainage and communication networks.
• As the restoration continues, we work on: 
- Restoring areas with large numbers of customer outages, including businesses and neighborhoods.
- Restoring individual services, often the most time-consuming.
• Throughout, we supply the logistical needs of the restoration workforce, like food and shelter, for the duration.
Power plants, the primary sources of power production, are restored.
Large transmission lines are repaired and restored, delivering power to cities, towns and major industrial facilities.
Substations are brought online, and power is restored to emergency services, life-support facilities, police and communications networks.
Power is restored to areas with the largest numbers of customers, including businesses and neighborhoods.
Bucket trucks are safe to use when winds fall below 30 mph.
Individual services, often the most time-consuming repairs, are restored.
Year-Round Planning
• We plan restoration reports months before the first sign of foul weather.
• We follow a detailed, rehearsed plan that has worked well for us.
• We monitor weather threats 24/7, 365 days a year.
• We prioritize critical sites with local officials before the storm.
• We conduct annual storm exercises and review lessons learned following every event.
Restoration Time
• Weather forecasts, models and knowledge help us predict an estimated number and duration of outages.
• We strive to give an estimate of how long it will take to restore a majority of our customers 48-72 hours before landfall.
• Restoration estimates are revised as more concrete information about the storm becomes available.

 

 

 

Terrebonne Moves Forward with Flood, Storm Protection

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Terrebonne Parish President Gordy Dove said the parish is fiscally strong thanks to his staff and support from groups like the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District.

During his Fiscal State of Terrebonne Parish speech Tuesday to members of the South Central Industrial Association, Dove said the parish was able to end 2017 with a $9 million fund balance, recovering from a “spiraling economy.”

After implementing 23 percent cuts in each department last year, “the parish is fiscally strong,” Dove said.

In April, sales tax revenues increased by 4.26 percent, he said.

Since taking office in 2016, Dove’s administration has worked on a number of capital improvement projects, specifically concerning drainage and storm protection.

In the past 11 years, the parish has received over $200 million from the state for various projects.

“We build the Morganza system. Now we have to pump it out,” Dove said.

The pending Chacahoula-Gibson pump station will be the first built outside of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf Levee system.

“It’s a huge undertaking, and a job well done by my staff,” Dove said.

The parish is also working to install three permanent generators at the Houma Power Plant at a cost of $850,000.

Other ongoing projects include the Falgout Canal rehabilitation and floodgate, the Hollywood Road extension project, the Mayfield Bridge replacement, the Point-aux-Chenes floodgate and the Houma Canal lock system, Dove said.

The parish is using drones to map the levee system and create an app for emergency operations personnel to monitor the closure of sluice gates during storms. Sluice gates are used in smaller drainage canals to control the flow of water.

“There’s no system in Terrebonne for what to shut off,” Dove said about the gates. “We’re working to solve that problem.”

One of the problem areas lies along Valhi Boulevard, which is part of the Chacahoula Basin, he said. When water rises in that area, it can flood nearby neighborhoods.

Other major projects include the Petit Caillou lock in Chauvin, costing about $9 million. The U.S. Corps of Engineers has issued preliminary permits, and the project is expected to go out for bid in June, Dove said.

The Petit Caillou drainage project will deepen the conveyance channel and add a pump station in Chauvin.

The parish is also continuing work with the state’s Coastal Restoration Protection Agency to improve the barrier island system from Racoon Island to Belle Pass.

“I don’t think a lot of us realize what we have in Gordon Dove,” said Tony Alford, president of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District board. “We need six more years to get this stuff done.”

Officials Tout Tourism’s Benefits Locally, Statewide

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Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser joined Terrebonne Parish officials today to highlight tourism’s contribution locally and statewide.

“The tourism industry continues to grow in a time when a lot of other industries are suffering in Louisiana,” Nungesser said during a brief celebration at Terrebonne’s tourist center in Gray. “It is a shining bright light for Louisiana.”

Nungesser, who is making stops across the state for National Tourism Week, said 2017 was the sixth straight year of record-breaking tourism numbers in Louisiana.

The state welcomed 47.1 million visitors last year, up nearly 500,000 compared to 2016, according to numbers from the tourism and travel research firm DK Shifflet. Those visitors spent $17.5 billion, an average of $371 per person.

The travel and tourism industry generated $1.8 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2016, Nungesser said. That revenue represents a 37-to-1 return on investment of state funding. Tax revenue generated through travel and tourism spending saves each household in Louisiana $1,047 a year in taxes that would be needed to maintain current services.

Nungesser also discussed the state’s new branding campaign -- Louisiana: Feed Your Soul, saying it conveys to the world that no other state can offer the bounty of food, music, history and culture Louisiana can.

“This exciting new brand will offer travelers a new outlook – that you may come to Louisiana hungry, but you’ll leave with your soul full of all the rewarding experiences we offer,” he said. “There is truly nowhere else in the world that can feed your soul like we can.”

Here are some other statistics he and local tourism officials offered today:

  • Last year, 14.3 million airplane passengers traveled into and out of the state, up 6.7 percent from 2016. It was the first year of direct, international flights from London and Frankfurt, Germany, into Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.

  • In Terrebonne, visitors spent $189.5 million and supported 2,680 jobs in 2016, according to the latest figures available. People from 48 states and 33 countries visited.

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 236,300 jobs resulted from visitor spending in Louisiana in 2017. That means one of every 8.5 working adults in Louisiana is employed as a result of the tourism industry.

  • Since 2007, tourism is the second fastest-growing job sector in Louisiana, increasing more than 20 percent since then and adding more than 40,000 jobs to the state’s workforce.

 

LADIES: College scholarship applications being accepted

HOUMA – The Women’s Business Alliance is now accepting applications for its 2018 Academic Scholarship Program.

The program is available to two types of female students pursuing higher education: the 2018 graduating high-school senior and the non-traditional student. The nontraditional student is one age 25 or older who has returned to a Louisiana college to pursue a degree. Applicants must be residents of Terrebonne and/or Lafourche Parishes.

Additional criteria for graduating seniors include a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 3.0 and be entering a Louisiana college during the 2017 year. Nontraditional applicants must have completed one semester of college and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. All applicants should visit www.wbahouma.org for further application requirements.

The scholarship program embodies the Women’s Business Alliance mission of improving the quality of life for women by empowering them in professional endeavors and personal relationships. The scholarship, awarded annually, aims to assist future women business leaders in pursuing their educational goals.

The application form and guidelines can be downloaded from www.wbahouma.org. Submission deadline for applicants is April 15, 2018.

Contact:

Crystal Gienger

Scholarship Chair, Women’s Business Alliance

(985) 448-7937

APPLICATION PERIOD NOW OPEN FOR CEO ROUNDTABLES

LED program provides platform for small business leaders to work on, rather than in, their businesses

Louisiana Economic Development opened the application period today for CEO Roundtables, a popular peer program through which executives explore business challenges with each other under the guidance of an experienced facilitator. The application period will extend through March 31 for roundtables beginning July 2018.

Launched in 2014 to help established small businesses grow revenue and jobs, LED’s regional CEO Roundtables convene 15 to 18 qualified key decision-makers from the pool of applicant businesses. Participants meet 10 times for peer-to-peer learning, business networking and support in the yearlong program. Collaborative and growth-oriented, the meetings support a trusting environment in which executives explore business and personal solutions that spur business growth.

Terrebonne Economic Development Authority announces training opportunity

DEC. 11, 2017, HOUMA -- Proprietors of construction companies and entrepreneurs who wish to become licensed general contractors may be eligible for tuition assistance to the Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute (LCAI) through Terrebonne Economic Development Authority.

 

LCAI, a Fletcher Technical Community College-branded program, is broadcast at community colleges throughout the state of Louisiana over a six-week period. The class offers critical information about construction management and preparing for the business law portions of the state licensing exam.  LCAI is a partnership between Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Community & Technical College System and the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Limited tuition assistance is available to those companies/individuals who potentially qualify as disadvantaged business enterprises. In addition, TEDA will offer technical assistance to aid LCAI graduates with such tasks as strategic business planning, completing contractor’s qualification statements and profiles, registration with Central Contractor Registration, certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise and registration with various public agencies issuing project contracts. 

“This program is aimed at increasing the number of qualified contractors in Terrebonne Parish and increasing disadvantaged businesses’ access to large-scale, publicly funded projects,” said Matt Rookard, TEDA Chief Executive Officer.

Program applicants should email TEDA at dhenry@tpeda.org or call 873-6890 to request an application packet. 

The program is funded in part through Louisiana Economic Development, Tier 2 Marketing Grant Program.

For more information:
Matthew Rookard,
TEDA CEO
985-873-6890

Register by completing the two forms below and returning them to:

Terrebonne Economic Development, P.O. Box 3209, Houma, LA 70361 or by email at DHenry@tpeda.org.

 

 

Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute

The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute, a partnership between Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Community & Technical College System and the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors offers small and emerging construction businesses critical information about construction management and how to prepare for the Business Law parts of the contractors state licensing exam.  

Registration begins December 4, 2017 with last day to register for class on January 26, 2018.  

Ribbon Cutting at the Academy Place Apartments, a Senior Living Community

Volunteers of America's Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation celebrated on Nov 15, 2017, the grand opening of its newest residential development in Houma, Academy Place apartments, a senior living community. The project was completed in partnership with Terrebonne Council on Aging and Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, among others. It features the renovated historic Houma Elementary School renovated and expanded to feature 103 affordable one and two-bedroom apartments for residents ages 62 and older, plus community centers.

Cenac Marine donated a barge to SLCC for Workforce Development Training

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CEO of Cenac Marine Services, Benny Cenac, and Company donated a fully refurbished barge to South Louisiana Community College's Workforce Development Training program.  An official christening and rededication took place on November 14th at Cenac Marine Services' headquarters.  The 158 feet by 40 feet fully restored barge was presented to SLCC administration and staff.  The barge is a replica of a standard Cenac Marine Services tank barge and will be used for the school's training of the next generation of maritime industry leaders.  Mr. Cenac is honored to be able to help his community and local education programs.  

Mr. Tommy Guarisco completes his term on TEDA's Board of Directors

                                      TOMMY GUARISCO                                    BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                             2014 - 2017

                                    TOMMY GUARISCO

                                BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                                         2014 - 2017

TEDA's Board President, Mr. Chad Hebert, shows appreciation to Mr. Tommy Guarisco for his time served on the Board of Directors.  Thank you Mr. Guarisco for your generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to TEDA.

Certified Line Worker Training Program offered at Fletcher & Delgado

The Certified Line Worker Training Program that is available at Fletcher Technical Community College and Delgado Community College will provide the necessary foundation for you to begin your line worker career as a helper/apprentice for an electric utility company.  

Louisiana Ranks #1 for Lowest Electricity Rates

Data from the EIA (Energy Information Administration) shows that Louisiana's 2016-2017 average residential price (cents/kWh) is 9.2125, the lowest in the country.

Click here for Electricity Rates by State

This is also a data reference for any future power-related articles. The resource includes information about your community's energy market, 2017 residential and commercial supply rates and rankings.

Please share the resource for your community as it continues to be a leader in the market and economy.

 

Mr. Clarence Williams completes his term on TEDA's Board of Directors

                             CLARENCE WILLIAMS                             BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                        2007-2017

                           CLARENCE WILLIAMS

                         BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                                    2007-2017

TEDA's Board President, Mr. Chad Hebert, shows appreciation to Mr. Clarence Williams for his time served on the Board of Directors. Thank you Mr. Williams for your generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to TEDA.  

LED'S STEP GRANT OFFERS TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENTS FOR OFFSHORE EUROPE - SEPTEMBER 5-8, 2017 - ABERDEEN, U.K.

About Offshore Europe 2017

Offshore Europe features over 56,000 attendees and offers Louisiana companies an opportunity to engage directly with international market leaders and innovative technology companies. As Europe’s leading energy and petroleum event, the conference attracts global audiences of engineers, technical specialists and industry leaders. The 2017 conference will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center and is organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. 

STEP Grant Opportunity

LED’s STEP Grant will offer travel expense reimbursements of up to 75 percent for new-to-export companies and up to 50 percent for market-expansion companies, for total assistance of up to $2,500 per company for attending Offshore Europe.

Learn more about utilizing the STEP Grant for Offshore Europe by clicking here or by calling

Sheba Person-Whitley - Senior International Trade Manager
International Commerce Division - Louisiana Economic Development
T     225.342.2537
C     225.772.2981
Sheba.Person@la.gov

617 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

TEDA's CEO, Matthew Rookard, spoke at the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce General Membership Luncheon

Terrebonne Economic Development Authority CEO Matthew Rookard outlined his organization’s plans for growing Terrebonne Parish’s economy Tuesday before the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce.