In this week’s edition of The Times, there is a lot of good news for businesses in Terrebonne Parish.
For one, we report on a job fair taking place today in Morgan City.
At the fair, local companies will be looking for trained riggers, welders, deckhands, captains, seamen, electricians and all other skill tradesmen — the lifeblood of our local economy.
The news of businesses seeking skilled labor is absolutely tremendous news at this time, because businesses have not been in a period of expansion in recent years.
In fact, just this past week, a report was issued by the Louisiana Workforce Commission which estimates that our area lost 2,600 jobs in the past 12 months — a troubling stat for local businesses that have struggled to hang on since the downturn in the oil and gas industry in 2014.
But in the past several weeks, local energy leaders have said that while business is not yet booming, it is in the process of making a noticeable comeback, so news of the job fair is worth noting and we sincerely hope that locals who attend the event find opportunities to continue their careers with some of the long-standing businesses in this area who will be in attendance.
Those future workers will be hopefully be getting into the workforce and continuing some of the work that’s already being done to keep Terrebonne Parish safe — both now and into the future.
We were taken away at some of the progresses the parish has made, as showcased at the parish’s annual Coastal Day last week. Up and down the floor of the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center were examples of ways that our area has become safer in the past several decades — a testament to the hard work and dedication of our local, state and federal delegation to provide funding to our area.
At Coastal Day, there were drawings and sketches of the progress made on the Morganza to the Gulf levee system — a complex, multi-billion dollar wall of dirt that will serve as our area’s first line of defense if we’re ever asked to defend ourselves from another hurricane. We hope the Morganza will never be tested, but its presence alone gives us some peace of mind each hurricane season, because our area is now better protected than its ever been to handle storm surges from tropical cyclones.
Governor John Bel Edwards attended the event and said the Morganza system was just a piece of a huge puzzle of local protection.
The governor said that in the past 12 years, more than 100 projects have been completed in all 20 coastal parishes in the state.
Of course, the reason why we’ve become so increasingly vulnerable is because of coastal erosion and even that was addressed at Coastal Day.
Officials with Restore or Retreat and other restoration groups were in attendance detailing some of the successful projects in the past decade that have helped to rebuild some of our area’s coast.
We know, there is still plenty work to be done — both in restoration, storm protection and also in boosting our local economy.
Our levees are better, but still can be topped by the perfect storm, though every scoop of dirt placed atop them makes us a small bit safer.
The economy is not near where it needs to be. The price of oil got a little better last week (thanks to United States tensions with Iran), but work is still somewhat slower than normal locally because of all of the inland drilling.
We know it’s difficult for companies and more importantly, their employees, to keep holding on and hoping for better days — especially given that it’s been multiple years now and we’re still somewhat stuck in this same rut.
So we wanted to share our space this week to let everyone know that even in the midst of a somewhat dark time, yes, there are still good things happening in Terrebonne Parish.
Progress is a little slower than we’d hope sometimes, but it remains steady.
And we have continued faith that like most other rough times, we’re going to turn the corner and find our way through to the other side. •