Veterans business resource summit set

The Urban League of Louisiana is pleased to host its 2020 Veterans Small Business Resources Summit online from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 6.

The free summit will include information on resources that are available to veterans and their spouses to start and grow businesses.

Guest speaker will be Joey Strickland, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Other speakers are Troy Broussard, associate state director-advocacy and outreach, AARP-Louisiana; Mark Scott, director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center, Mississippi State University; Jo Ann Lawrence, deputy district director, of the Small Business Administration Louisiana District Office; Stephanie Hartman, director of small business services for Louisiana Economic Development's Louisiana Veterans First Initiative; Christina Dayries, assistant deputy director, grants and administration, in the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Colleen Broussard-Perry, procurement counselor with the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Registration is required at https://urbanleaguela.org.

State trade mission to Mexico planned 

Louisiana Economic Development will participate in a January 2021 trade mission to Villahermosa, Mexico, joining delegates from the World Trade Center of New Orleans, the Committee of 100 for Economic Development and the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans.

Business leaders interested in joining the trade delegation can contact LED International Project Manager Jessica Steverson at Jessica.steverson@la.gov. All required health protocols related to COVID-19 will be followed on the trip.

The trade mission will convene Jan. 11-15 in Villahermosa, capital of the Tabasco state in south Mexico, for meetings with government and private-sector representatives from Yucatan, Tabasco, Campeche and Veracruz. Villahermosa has a metro population of more than 800,000 and is known as an energy capital in a nation poised for major oil, gas, petrochemical and infrastructure investments.

“Our trade mission to Mexico is designed to foster bonds of shared economic interest, and will ideally open new markets to Louisiana businesses,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “With close proximity and a shared reliance on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana and Mexico enjoy a long history of economic and social exchange. Through this trade mission, we hope to create new opportunities for all parties involved, and to further establish Louisiana’s leadership role in the global economy.”

The mission will focus on various economic fronts, including energy, infrastructure, construction and commercial development, environmental and coastal management, maritime and ports, agriculture and agribusiness, education and academic collaboration, and healthcare.

Mexico ranked as Louisiana’s top export market in 2019, with $8.4 billion in total Louisiana exports of petroleum, agricultural, chemical and other products. Mexico also is a leading importer into Louisiana, with $2.4 billion in imports of oil and gas, transportation equipment, primary metal manufacturing, chemicals and more. Mexican companies have made recent project-related, foreign direct investments resulting in over $200 million in capital expenditures and more than 450 new direct jobs in Louisiana.

Businesses participating in the trade mission may qualify for financial support through the Louisiana State Trade Expansion Program. Information is at OpportunityLouisiana.com/small-business/special-programs-for-small-business/step-grant.

Training program plans virtual open house

A virtual open house is being held for the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative at 6 p.m. Nov. 18.

The program provides training courses in welding, electrical, millwright and pipefitting crafts at no cost to qualifying participants. Students participate in a fast-tracked classroom and hands-on training, which also includes a life-skills/workforce preparation component. The upcoming program will begin in January.

Registration is required to attend the open house. Information and registration are at www.mybrcc.edu/nbriti. Baton Rouge Community College and partner ExxonMobil are hosting the open house.