Newell: Louisiana must capture repatriated manufacturing & tech jobs

Food manufacturing
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GNO Inc President and CEO Michael Hecht returned today for his weekly segment with Newell to discuss the state of business and industry in the metro area as Phase One of reopening continues without interruption and hurricane season waits on the near horizon.

“What are some of the trends you’re seeing right now that you’re actually happy about, that you’re encouraged by?” Newell began.“I’ve been cautiously optimistic with what I'm seeing with the reopening,” Hecht said. “As you look around, you see that businesses are beginning to generate some revenue on their own, and psychologically, people are starting to get some sense of hope by taking steps in the right direction. If we’re able to keep up this slow-and-steady progress going, we will be able to emerge battered and bruised but still standing. In the mid-term future, if you objectively look at the changes that the virus is bringing and accelerating what was already happening, there's a lot of opportunity for us in this state and region. Manufacturing is going to be repatriated from places like China because we have seen how dangerous and expensive it can be to rely on China for your components. That’s going to be a huge opportunity for Louisiana. Tech has a change coming - our tech companies have discovered you can work from home in the United States, but it's hard to work from home in places like Bangalore. A lot of the software work that has been placed offshore is going to come back to lower-cost markets in the US and New Orleans is really well-positioned for those jobs.”“Obviously, there has to be some kind of economic development arm that takes the lead here, bringing together all the disciplines necessary to make this transition,” Newell continued. “Have you started to have those preliminary discussions? This re-shoring of companies from China and others seems like it might have some momentum in Congress to provide seed money for that. That tells me that the sooner we are ready to receive it, the sooner we are ready to exploit it and the better off we can be.”