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NEW ORLEANS

Desperately Seeking Young Pros

Since Hurricane Katrina battered the city in 2005, local employers have been desperately seeking young professionals. And with great food and wild times, there is never a dull moment in the Big Easy.

Exotic, sensual and exciting. As a city that truly lives up to its laissez faire reputation, New Orleans may very well be the most carefree city in the nation. Rich history and architecture, friendly locals, spicy food and wild festivals make every day in the Big Easy a cultural adventure.

With so much action, it's no wonder that New Orleans boasts six universities and is popular with recent grads looking to get a leg up on their careers. New Orleans' economic strong points include the oil and gas industry, ship and boat building and aerospace and military manufacturing. Some of the city's top employers include Northrop Grumman Avondale, Ochsner medical institutions, Tulane University, Hibernia National Bank, Entergy Corporation, BellSouth and Lockheed Martin. While salaries here may be below national averages, they can often be offset by the lower cost of living.

There's no denying that it will take years - if not decades - for New Orleans to fully recover from Hurricane Katrina. Little more than half of the pre-Katrina population of 455,000 has returned and much of the city's neighborhoods still lay in ruin. The good news is that employers are desperately seeking white collar professionals and working here now offers a unique opportunity to participate in the rebuilding of a great American city.

Neighborhoods

Although the French Quarter and Warehouse District do have condos and apartments, they fetch some of the highest rents in the city and are usually out of reach for young professionals. In 2005, Katrina threw the city's real estate market into disarray and rents have increased by as much as 50 percent in some neighborhoods.


Do be aware that New Orleans also has some of the highest crime rates in the country so be sure to thoroughly check out the neighborhood before signing a lease.

Some of New Orleans' more popular neighborhoods include:

Jefferson Parish

Uptown

Algiers

Do YOU live in New Orleans? Tell us about it.

Transportation

Many people who live in the Uptown area used to commute via the streetcar system but the St. Charles line has yet to reopen since Katrina. The public bus system is extensive and cheap but slow and, at times, unreliable. Many routes have also not come back online since Katrina and there are fewer buses making the rounds.


Until the system improves, a private automobile (or bicycle) is the best recommended means of transportation. Compared to most metro areas, traffic is not all that bad in New Orleans but the city's roads are littered with potholes that can easily cause a blowout or damage your vehicle. Drive with care.

Local Lingo

If you're packing up to head to N'awlins (that's New Orleans, y'all), be prepared for the unique and - at times - confusing blend of southern drawl and French colloquialisms that make up the local dialect. Although the city speak is much easier to navigate than the Cajun one found in other parts of Louisiana, it would behoove you to know some of the regional terminology.

Sidewalks are not sidewalks in N.O., they're banquetts (pronounced ban'ket.) You might be makin' groceries if you're walking along the banquett, which is to say, you're going to the grocery store.

Many natives will tell you a po'boy, a special regional submarine-like sandwich, is one of the most delicious things you can eat. If you want to order it like a native, say you'd like it dressed and they'll load it up with everything - usually lettuce, 'maters', and mayonnaise.
PLACES TO EXPLORE

INDUSTRIES
Tourism

Energy
Shell Oil Corp.
Exxon Corp.

Aerospace
Martin Marietta

RESOURCES
www.cityofno.com
The official city website

www.nola.com
The place to go for NO news and local information

www.youngleadership
council.org

Youth Leadership Council; community service projects for young professionals in NO

LOCALS SAY...
What do you love about working in this city?
Mid city is the best place to live because it's close to several universities, it's quiet and cozy but then it's not too far from the craziness of the French Quarter.
Molly, 26
University of New Orleans, Student

 
Craig Guillot Craig Guillot is a New Orleans native who has written for a number of publications including Washington Post, Nationalgeographic.com, Bankrate.com, New Orleans City Business and the Times-Picayune.
You can read more about his work at www.craigguillot.com.
 
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