Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome today kicked off an economic development listening tour aimed at learning what workforce development challenges local businesses are facing.
The first leg of the tour includes 36 companies—such as Formosa Plastics, ExxonMobil, Setpoint Integrated Solutions and Coca-Cola—though Broome says she may add additional stops.
She plans to visit one company each week.
Information and data collected during those visits will be compiled and organized into a report that will also include recommendations on how city-parish government can effectively use resources like EmployBR to help local businesses find skilled workers, develop the local workforce and attract new companies.
The tour is one of the goals the mayor and her team mapped out to close 2017. She intends to visit small, medium and large companies—including minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.
“We will collect data at the end of the day to see how city-parish government can be more strategic in economic development efforts and workforce development,” she says.
Georgia Pacific was the first stop on Broome’s tour, meeting with employees and management to learn more about its Baton Rouge operations.
“We talked about quality of place issues—which is important for them as a company and their employees, and developing a positive business environment that supports expansions and capital investments,” she says.
The company’s staff also discussed the need to develop more partnerships with industry.