Search Influence, GNO Inc. help New Orleans teachers raise awareness for tech jobs

May 5, 2015

The effort to get more young people to choose careers in the booming New Orleans technology sector is getting a boost thanks to a new initiative by Greater New Orleans Inc. and help from local tech company Search Influence, the largest online marketing company on the Gulf Coast.

Representatives from more than eight New Orleans charter management organizations will visit Search Influence May 8 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. as a part of GNO Inc.’s Future Building Fridays. In partnership with GNO Inc. and New Orleans Business Alliance, Search Influence’s offices at 935 Gravier St., Suite 1300 will host an interactive demonstration where educators will learn about the variety of jobs and talents needed in the online marketing industry.

The group will also hear candidly from real employees who took different paths to become Web developers, Internet marketers and online marketing account managers.

“Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who works in tech has a computer science degree. Of course some do, but Search Influence hires phenomenally talented people from all sorts of backgrounds—those with marketing degrees, communications degrees and even mathematics degrees,” said Search Influence CEO Will Scott.

“Tech is a big driver of the New Orleans economy. We want to show teachers and counselors in a tangible way the many job opportunities available in tech and the multitude of ways their students can get their foot in the door,” Scott said.

The new initiative, Future Building Fridays, seeks to educate counselors, STEM and career and technical education teachers about regional workforce trends, aligned with the Louisiana Department of Education’s Jump Start pathways, through site visits and first-hand exposure to employers. The Future Building Fridays series is just one part of GNO Inc.’s World of Work programming, which offers and promotes high-quality career awareness and exploration opportunities for regional schools and businesses. Through GNO WOW, as it is known, the organization is committed to raising educator and community awareness of the key sectors that drive the Greater New Orleans economy.

“GNO Inc. understands the critical importance of career awareness and exploration programs, like Future Building Fridays, for educators, students and community,” said GNO Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht. “We must continue to connect the world of work and our industry partners to our K-12 classrooms. We want to empower educators with an understanding of the significant high-wage and high-demand job opportunities that are available throughout the GNO region.”

“A major part of our work consists of resolving barriers to economic growth,” said Melissa Ehlinger, interim president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “Ensuring we have adequate pipelines to employment—creating opportunities for students to experience the work world and prepare for it—is imperative to an equitable, sustainable economy for the city. NOLABA acts as the connector between what employers tell us they need and how educators approach career and technical education. Future Building Fridays offers us a great way to make that connection.”

While the tech industry, and other key sectors, will create more than 100,000 high-wage, high-growth job openings region-wide over the next decade, the lead influencers on students’ post-secondary careers (such as counselors, teachers and parents) are often unaware that these careers exist, let alone, how to access needed training.

Educators must constantly update their knowledge and skills about current workplace practices, requirements and tools by gaining an “on the ground” understanding of economic and career trends that will affect their students. This is where Future Building Fridays comes in. Through first-hand interactions with employers in high-growth sectors, teachers and guidance counselors have the opportunity to see, touch and feel the array of jobs available.

About Search Influence

Search Influence is a national, full-service online marketing company based in New Orleans, La. The only New Orleans firm on the 2011 Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, Search Influence is the largest online marketing company on the Gulf Coast. It has hundreds of direct and partner customers, including local merchants and clients in the automotive industry, law, plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry and dermatology industries as well as publishers and Yellow Pages companies who provide SEO and other online marketing products for their advertisers.

About GNO Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.  More information can be found at

About the New Orleans Business Alliance

A public-private partnership, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official economic development organization for the city of New Orleans. Its creation resulted from a long-term effort by the business community to adopt national best practices in economic development for the growth of Orleans Parish. NOLABA’s 17-member Board comprises a cross-section of New Orleans leaders, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu and a diverse group of business professionals. For more information on NOLABA and Prosperity NOLA, the city’s five-year plan for economic growth, please visit

Search Influence Press Release
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