The Greater New Orleans Business Roundtable (GNOBR) is a Local User Council (LUC) that was formed in 1971. It was modeled after The Business Roundtable’s Construction Committee (BRT) of New York City. GNOBR’s mission addressed the rising cost of construction and the industry’s inability to meet project schedules. Accident and incident rates were a high priority for the organization, as well as manpower issues and inefficient work practices.

In the late 1970s BRT produced a series of publications titled The Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness Project (CICE). These publications identified fundamental problems in the construction industry and presented ways to resolve the problems contributing to cost effectiveness improvements. Key aspects of the publications included the heavy costs of poor safety performance; perverse effects of scheduled overtime; under trained foremen and unmotivated workers; inadequate funding for training and education; failure to embrace current technology; and use of outdated management practices.

GNOBR not only embraced the publication’s recommendations but formed committees to study and develop ways to incorporate the recommendations into local work practices. One recognized outcome of these studies was the creation of GNOBR’s CICE Awards Program, currently in its 21st year. Early award winners were required to demonstrate that their projects incorporated CICE principles. Today the award criteria stresses CICE rinciples but also considers best practices advocated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) and innovation.

GNOBR has 17 owner, 34 associate, and 2 subscriber members. Owner members are located among the eight parishes surrounding New Orleans, LA. They are primarily from the petro-chemical industry, but also include aerospace, energy and coffee producing companies. Associate and subscriber members are located across the Gulf Coast. They are construction, maintenance, engineering, safety, and manpower companies. Subscriber members are composed of a local university and an equipment supply company.

GNOBR is one of 30 active LUC's affiliated with the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT). Today, GNOBR’s mission is to provide an effective forum to continuously improve local construction, maintenance and engineering processes. Workplace safety remains vital to GNOBR’s mission.

Internally, GNOBR:
  • Facilitates construction/maintenance forums. The forums allow participants to concentrate on a specific construction/maintenance topic and share lessons learned with colleagues.
  • Conducts monthly presentations by industry experts on current, pertinent issues.
  • Sponsors CII "Best Practices" workshops annually.
  • Publishes a monthly newsletter, informing members of local, state, and national industry matters.
  • Promotes education with the University of New Orleans and underwrites an engineering scholarship.
Externally, GNOBR:
  • Supports the Bayou Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Gulf Coast Safety Council (GCSC), in St. Rose. Craft training and safety orientation programs help keep industries informed and knowledgeable.
  • Is a member of the Gulf Coast Construction Users Council (GCCUC) a regional group of LUCs. GCCUC shares drug testing and criminal background screening processes and practices. It also conducts an annual regional construction and maintenance conference.
  • Works closely with the Baton Rouge LUC, the Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance (GBRIA). Both organizations share members to each others safety committee. GNOBR and GBRIA collaborated to develop the Non English Fluent Worker Implementation Plant Guideline.
  • Has been active with BRT’s “I’M GREAT” Program, the Gulf Rebuild Education and Training initiative, which has trained over 20,000 new construction workers since 2005.
  • Participated on the Louisiana Craft Workforce Development Board, focusing on craft skills development by contractors, users, government leaders, government agencies, and educational institutions.
Local Users Councils have contributed nationally to improving the quality and cost effectiveness of engineering, construction, and maintenance industries. Construction users, contractors and engineering companies have proven that by working together through LUCs, they can better control the outcome of their construction/maintenance projects.

Steve Springer is GNOBR’s Executive Director.
Copyright © 2010 Greater New Orleans Business Roundtable

An Engineering, Construction, Maintenance Council serving the Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St, Charles, St. John, St. Tammany, and Terrebone Parishes, resulting in continued growth of the Greater New Orleans community, its businesses, and this organization.

Site by Matrix