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ANNOUNCING JOBS – Shown at a
June 28 press conference announcing the opening of a new Entergy customer
service accounting center in Hammond are, from left, Bill Joubert, director
of the Southeast Louisiana Business Center; Michael Budden, dean of Southeastern’s
College of Business and Technology and president of the Hammond Chamber
of Commerce; Kathy Stewart, director of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce;
Randy Moffett, president of Southeastern Louisiana University; Renae Conley,
president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana; Rep. Tank Powell; Hammond Mayor
Mayson Foster; Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess; and Don Boihem,
Entergy Hammond area customer service manager.
ENTERGY SERVICE CENTER ANNOUNCED BY SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA
HAMMOND -- Officials with Entergy Louisiana
and Southeastern Louisiana University announced Monday (June 28) the opening
of a new Entergy customer service accounting center in Hammond achieved
through a concerted effort by the university’s business center and its
economic development partners.
The new center features approximately
20 initial full and part-time positions. Economic development officials
see it as an early step to a possible future expansion of the corporation’s
services and the recruitment of similar service centers for other businesses.
The service center is currently housed in facilities in the Hammond Industrial
Park located near the airport.
“This is a great example of what teamwork
can achieve to promote business growth in Louisiana,” said Renae Conley,
president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “Entergy is grateful to everyone
who helped us make this possible.”
Conley explained that the idea for
opening the customer center in Hammond began several months ago. Entergy
worked with economic development officials from Tangipahoa Parish and Southeastern
and conducted a study that showed available and talented workforce that
met the company’s business needs. The business model that developed, she
said, allowed Entergy to move this work into the area at reduced costs
to the company.
“Locating the center here is
proving to be beneficial for both Entergy and the region,” she added.
“We are excited about this new service
center and these new jobs coming to Tangipahoa Parish and welcome Entergy’s
expansion in the area,” said Southeastern President Randy Moffett. “It
demonstrates the company’s confidence in Tangipahoa Parish, the City of
Hammond and Southeastern Louisiana University.
“Entergy’s expansion in the area is
a natural outgrowth of the partnership we have developed with the corporation
over the years and is a signal to other businesses that the area has a
strong, well-educated and productive workforce,” Moffett added. “Part of
the university’s mission is to facilitate economic development, and this
project is a direct result of our economic development partners working
together in a renewed, cooperative approach to expand business in the region.”
Moffett noted that the elements
for economic development in the area are in place, including a strong transportation
infrastructure, land available for construction, and an eager, trained
workforce. The new positions were filled largely by university graduates
and Southeastern students through efforts coordinated by the Southeastern
William Joubert, director of
the Southeast Louisiana Business Center, said the cooperative effort of
the university, Tangipahoa Economic Development Council and the Hammond
Industrial Development Board – all partners in the center – was an important
element in attracting the new jobs.
“We were a united front in showing
to Entergy that this area was the ideal location for this kind of service
center,” Joubert said.
In addition, he said, the business
center is now coordinating efforts with the university’s Office of Continuing
Education to possibly provide the on-going training necessary to staff
the service center
The Southeast Louisiana Business Center,
which opened last year as a one-stop-shop for business development, is
located near the Southeastern campus. The facility has space for start-up
businesses and a transitional area for companies moving into the region
that need temporary office space. The center features a large training
area and meeting facilities. Partners in the center include the Louisiana
Department of Economic Development, Southeastern Small Business Development
Center, Southeastern Business Research Center, Hammond Industrial Development
Board, Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation, area chambers of commerce
and other area economic development agencies and organizations.