Baton Rouge, New Orleans area Business Briefs for Feb. 14, 2021 – The Advocate


Houma company building research ships

Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC in Houma has a $178 million Navy contract to build two new research ships for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The ships will be named Oceanographer and Discoverer, after ships that served from the mid-1960s until 1996. The Oceanographer will have its home port in Honolulu. The second ship’s home port has not yet been assigned.

Each will operate with a crew of 20 and will be able to carry up to 28 scientists for up to 40 days.

They’ll be operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and able to handle a variety of research in shallow and deep water, including general oceanographic, marine life, climate and ocean ecosystem studies.

The ships are expected to be completed by June 2024, with about 60% of the work in Houma. Other work locations include Georgia, Washington state, Virginia and Norway.

Thoma-Sea’s shipyard is less than 2 miles from Gulf Island Shipyards, which is building the three research vessels for use by groups of university scientists.

Farmers market vendors training set

The LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities program will host a free virtual training Feb. 17 for current and future Louisiana farmers market vendors.

The training on how to improve yields and sales and reach an ideal customer base will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. The training will feature speakers from the LSU AgCenter, Southern University Ag Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. A recording of the training will be available on the LSU AgCenter website.

Topics, speakers and registration are at

Empowerment, policy conference scheduled

Registration has opened for the annual Empowerment and Policy Conference, presented by the Urban League of Louisiana and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

The free conference will be held online at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 26 and 27.

Topics include economic opportunity; health equity; criminal justice reform; voter education and engagement; and education equity.

Registration is limited and at

Quality society plans virtual meeting

The American Society for Quality will hold a monthly Zoom meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18.

Sarah Gauthier, operational excellence program leader in the Americas for Eurofins Scientific, will give a talk on “Transformation Management.” Her presentation will detail the fundamentals of transforming a laboratory through continuous improvement and how best to use project management tools.

Connection information for the meeting can be obtained by emailing Reservations are due by Feb. 17.

Patient Plus partners with Prime on services

Patient Plus Urgent Care has partnered with Prime Occupational Medicine to provide services to the Mid City and north Baton Rouge communities.

The Patient Plus Mid City Occupational Medicine location will open on March 1 and is the first of their urgent care clinics to incorporate Prime’s occupational health capabilities. Occupational services such as fit for duty exams and drug and alcohol testing will be provided at the location.

Since 2016, Patient Plus Urgent Care clinics have offered services that include on-site diagnostic services, including X-rays, COVID-19 tests, flu tests, strep tests, EKGs, physical exams, vaccinations and other services.

Prime Occupational Medicine has provided occupational medicine since 1994 and has 10 facilities in the Gulf Coast region.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here