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Market Spotlight: New Orleans


I’m here with Kim, Shiftgig’s General Manager in the New Orleans market. Kim, thanks for joining me today.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a post-Katrina transplant who can’t imagine living anywhere else. The other Shiftgig NOLA team members are natives and collectively, we are all driven by our mission to create economic opportunities for the hourly workforce in New Orleans.  

I started my career working for a non-profit but quickly migrated to the tech space and have worked in business development and product management for digital media and marketing companies for most of my career. I moved to New Orleans in 2010 to be part of this incredible community and have always wanted to get back to my roots in community and leadership development.

When I found Shiftgig it was a perfect match. We are a cutting-edge mobile technology company AND we are making a real impact on the lives of local workers in New Orleans, helping them find job opportunities, personal flexibility, and training and skill development opportunities.

What’s unique about the New Orleans market?

EVERYTHING about New Orleans is unique! Our people, food, culture, history, and most importantly, our way of life.  

Seeing any business trends?

The New Orleans economy is made up of an interesting combination of old and new. We have a firm base in energy (oil and gas), tourism, and of course, with the Port of New Orleans, shipping activities. In addition, the region has done a lot to attract diverse new businesses and we now have strong new growth in digital media, biosciences, and the emerging environmental sector.   

What are you seeing at Shiftgig specifically?

At Shiftgig, we are seeing more and more workers looking to enter the gig economy. The ongoing challenges in the oil industry, a general desire for more flexible work arrangements, and a growing awareness that these kind of opportunities even exist in New Orleans are all driving growth.  

We are uniquely bridging the gap between old and new by employing many people that work those very traditional “weeks on/weeks off” schedules common with oil rigs, plants, or river-related jobs. For example, we have someone who cooks on an oil rig for two weeks at a time. When he’s off, he picks up shifts all across the city. I love that our very modernesque mobile app is perfect for someone working in one of New Orleans’ oldest industries.

What’s the latest in town?

It takes a lot of work to throw the biggest free party in the world!  

Shiftgig Specialists will be very busy in February helping make Mardi Gras happen all across the city. Our team serves visitors from the moment they land at Louis Armstrong Airport. From there, we will help staff Mardi Gras events, parties and balls at the Convention Center, Superdome, WW2 Museum, Gallier Hall, Board of Trade, Orpheum Theater, and many more!  Our Specialists will also help take care of visiting guests at hotels across the city, and are even working behind the scenes making king cakes and getting some of the parade floats and events ready!      

Our Specialists bring that unparalleled New Orleans hospitality to the city's Mardi Gras visitors as bartenders, servers, hosts, and cashiers. In the kitchen, our team is helping prepare the dishes that people travel to New Orleans for - jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp creole, red beans and rice, po' boys, and even our world famous king cakes. Our team will be helping to make sure guests’ hotel stays are exceptional, working as everything from housekeepers to room service attendants. Out of sight to many visitors are the many, many Specialists that work behind the scenes to help set up and tear down the events that make Mardi Gras an unforgettable experience.

Even with all of the Mardi Gras events happening, February is also a huge month for sports!  The New Orleans Shiftgig team sending a group of sports-enthusiast Specialists to work VIP events at the Super Bowl (Hello Tom and Giselle - ?!?!) and more locally, we are looking forward to a big weekend with the NBA All-Star game on Feb 19th.
February 3, 2017 | Kelly Hickey