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Williamson’s Notes: Growing Jefferson Parish

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to attend the announcement of new ownership of Avondale Shipyard hosted by the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.), and Governor John Bel Edwards. Avondale Marine LLC, a joint venture between T. Parker Host and Hilco Redevelopment Partners, finalized the purchase of the valuable real estate on October 3.
The announcement celebrated progress toward bringing the shipyard back to life and progress toward reintroducing new jobs in Jefferson Parish. No doubt, this is a momentous economic advancement in the parish – perhaps one of the largest ever. 
Our partners at JEDCO, GNO, Inc., and the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce are making significant improvements to the business climate in Jefferson. And in much of the same way, United Way of Southeast Louisiana is improving economic opportunities in the parish and across the region. 
We’re focusing on three vital areas aimed at strengthening economic growth: building a more engaged and skilled workforce, minimizing pressures on health care and social services, and supporting corporate social responsibility efforts. 
Jefferson Parish is a market that possesses incredible potential for growth, and United Way is here to support business and industry in the parish looking to meet and exceed their goals. 
I encourage workplace leaders in Jefferson Parish to connect with us and learn more about United Way’s ability to serve as your internal community relations strategist, ensuring your philanthropic investments align with your business needs and provide maximum exposure for your company. 
Today’s workforce places a premium on workplace corporate social responsibility (CSR) endeavors. The fact is, CSR drives employee recruitment, engagement, and retention; customer loyalty; and long-term business success. 
It is clear; employees want to be a part of something bigger. They are looking for new, innovative ways to engage in philanthropy and volunteerism, and United Way is here to help. 
I look forward to growing United Way’s relationship with T. Parker Host, Hilco, and countless other workplaces in Jefferson Parish as we enhance the climate for business and create equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable. 
To read more from our staff on pressing community issues and how you can join our fight, visit
Michael Williamson
President and CEO
United Way of Southeast Louisiana