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    The "New Normal" in Baton Rouge for HR Professionals, presented by Mayor-President Kip Holden (1.0 Hour General HRCI Credit)

    Date: July 17, 2014, 11:30am – 1:00pm

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    Chapter Meeting
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    Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden was overwhelmingly re-elected to his third term as Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in a primary victory on November 6, 2012. Under his leadership, East Baton Rouge Parish has achieved unprecedented top ten national rankings: the #1 best city for business growth; #4 for new corporate facilities; #3 best performing city for salary growth; #7 best city for jobs; #8 best place to live in America; one of top 25 places in America to retire and a top 10 city for young adults.

    Throughout his two terms as Mayor-President, Mayor Holden has maintained public safety as his top priority, with all first responders under the Mayor’s administration receiving the highest national accreditation in their respective areas: the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Baton Rouge Police Department; EMS and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

    In 2012, Mayor Holden worked with the District Attorney to launch the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project – called BRAVE -- a local initiative to reduce violent crime. Working with the District Attorney, School Superintendent and Sheriff, he opened the Family and Youth Service Center, the parish’s first truancy center to improve school attendance and reduce juvenile crime.

    The Mayor’s Green Light Program has committed over $500 million to street improvements, with nearly 30 projects completed by the close of 2012. Active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Holden launched a successful “Healthy BR” program in partnership with the Healthy Cities Initiative. His Healthy BR Initiative promotes better nutrition and active lifestyles, and has tackled the critical problems of childhood obesity and access to healthy food, making a difference in the quality of lives of children throughout the parish.

    Recognized nationally in 2005 for his leadership during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Holden led his community through Hurricane Gustav in 2008, which required a different, but equally important response when the city-parish received extensive wind damage and three-week power outages in some areas. With East Baton Rouge Parish the most populated parish in Louisiana as of the 2010 Census, Mayor Holden led a community-wide planning effort that resulted in strong public participation and a master plan for growth and development – called FuturEBR – that was unanimously adopted by the Metro Council and is a blueprint for progress in our community for the next 25 years.

    Prior to 2004, he had achieved a 20-year distinguished career in public service, elected Mayor-President by a broad, diverse base of support throughout the parish to become the first African American Mayor-President in parish history on January 1, 2005.

    Much of the success of his first term in office can be traced to the foundation laid by a diverse team of over 100 community leaders, citizens and university students Mayor Holden assembled immediately after his election in 2004 to form his “Green Light Baton Rouge Citizens Council” to help develop the “Framework for Progress”, a planning document which serves as the basis of his administration’s goal to make Baton Rouge America’s next great city.

    This framework lead him to embark on an ambitious, successful journey to revitalize Downtown Baton Rouge, create an arts and entertainment district and market Baton Rouge to the film and video industry. He has the city moving on a riverfront master plan, with construction of a new, high-tech, award winning Town Square providing more venues for arts and cultural activities.

    Throughout his career, Mayor Holden has worked to improve education and has been honored for his accomplishments. As Mayor-President, he has delivered new volunteer programs and technology partnerships for East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools, including the largest software donation in East Baton Rouge Parish history, a $307 million grant from UGS that will provide 3-D imaging software for classes in math, science and the arts for students from the third grade through high school to help prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

    Mayor Holden is a graduate of both Baton Rouge universities, earning a B.A. in Journalism from LSU, a Masters degree in Journalism from Southern University, a Juris Doctorate from Southern University School of Law and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Policy from Southern University. He was also invited to study at the Oxford University Round Table in England. Mayor Holden was recently honored by both universities by being inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction, the LSU Manship School of Communications Hall of Fame and the Southern University Law Center Hall of Fame.

    This presentation by the mayor will focus HR professionals in understanding the current economic growth of the city of Baton Rouge today, as well as future growth. In order to sustain the employment needs of this growth, HR professionals must be more assertive in understanding the current and future strategic plans of their organizations.

    The city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 30,000 feet . . .

    • So many of our accomplishments that keep our local economy strong have been well reported, even on a national level… but I’d like to start by running through some of the top headlines from 2013.
    • Forbes ranked Baton Rouge Number 7 on its list of best cities for information jobs… number 14 on its list of America’s top Engineering Hubs… and a Top 25 place to retire.
    • We were ranked the third best city in America for Chemical Engineers… the 7th best city for Savvy Young Families… and a top city for hospitality and dining out.
    • We’re a top five Emerging Hub for Entrepreneurs… and to further prove our economic competitiveness, the Baton Rouge Metro was ranked Number 1 for Economic Growth Potential… and the Number 1 Major Market of the Year.
    • Last March, IBM chose Baton Rouge for a first-of-its kind software development center… a project that will create 800 new jobs… and by September, we broke ground on the new office complex that will house IBM in downtown Baton Rouge.
    • Today, IBM is already here… building its workforce with graduates of LSU, Southern University and the Baton Rouge Community College.
    • We have a strong working relationship with the leadership of our universities and community college… and now we will include the student government presidents in working with us to assure young leaders’ viewpoints are incorporated in our forward planning.
    • In other areas, CB&I… formerly the Shaw Group… announced it is expanding by 400 jobs here in Baton Rouge.
    • Honeywell is investing $200 million in new manufacturing projects, including a production facility here in East Baton Rouge Parish.
    • We are currently working on another 30 or more potential projects that could bring another 5,000 new jobs to Baton Rouge.
    • And of course, who can forget the excitement surrounding the announcement that Costco is coming to Baton Rouge or the opening of Trader Joe’s?
    • Our film industry continues to grow in Baton Rouge with 2013 again topping over $105 million in direct spending in our community, bringing the total now spent here by film productions since we started our Baton Rouge Film Commission to more than $700 million dollars.
    • What is especially remarkable… is that the majority of films in our market this past year were made by independent film companies, which hire a larger number of local crew and vendors. What this proves is that Baton Rouge now has the skilled workforce, locations and support needed to successfully host productions of any size and budget.
    • We had a tremendous experience last year with the movie Maze Runner… a 20th Century Fox production that will be released worldwide in September. This production was based in our market for over six months, hired more than 120 crew members… and even utilized alternative sound stages, like the conversion of the old Sam’s Club Warehouse on Airline Highway.
    • It all went so well, that 20th Century Fox continues to look at Baton Rouge for major production. I met with Fox studio executives when I attended the American Film Market in November and I believe we will see even more production from them.

    Guess what, HR Professionals? This is the “New Normal” for Baton Rouge and with your help we can take our city to even higher heights.  Here is what we need from you:

    1. Understand the strategic goals and objectives of your organization and lead the process for helping your senior leadership team in interpreting a workforce planning discussion.
    2. Identify workforce planning requirements that will assist your organization in achieving its short- and long-term goals and objectives.
    3. Understand the Baton Rouge job market and the need to be creative in your recruiting efforts as our ‘need’ is greater than our ‘talent pool’.
    4. Develop strong community partnerships with external sources that would assist you in identifying methods to develop your own talent pool through education and job partnership training opportunities.
    5. Assist in branding and marketing strategies for your organizations to potential qualified applicants; and don’t forget this important step in helping to retain your best and brightest you already have in your organizations.

    There is a war for good talent in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and as HR professionals we need you to evaluate what’s in your arsenal and develop a strategy that will help you understand:   

    1. What battles are we confronting?
    2. Who are we in battle with?
    3. What tools do we have to use in combat in the war for good people?
    4. What is our winning strategy?

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