As much as we love New Orleans, we all agree there is room for improvement in all kinds of areas. The two issues that rise to the top of most lists of things that concern New Orleanians are education and crime.

We have an evolving public education system that continues to attempt to claw its way up toward the national average. We have, at various times, been the murder capital of the country, had the highest per capita number of people incarcerated in the country, and our local news and neighborhood conversations are peppered with crime stories.

Peter’s guests on this edition of Out to Lunch are tackling New Orleans education and crime.

Crime

Crime fighter Jeff Burkhardt

Crime fighter Jeff Burkhardt

Jeff Burkhardt is the COO of a company called Active Solutions.

Active Solutions’ contribution to reducing New Orleans’ crime is the placement and operation of crime cameras around the city. You’ve probably seen them. And there’s a pretty good chance they’ve seen you too.

Education

One of the criticisms of our education system is that it is focused solely on students’ academic achievement, which is ultimately divorced from the rest of their life. For that reason, there are a number of kids who see no relevance in education and drop out before graduating high school. Uncommon Construction is an antidote to that problem.

Uncommon Construction builds houses, using high school kids as construction workers. The kids get paid and learn construction skills. And the life lessons that are a part of their training aim to turn out work and community leaders.

Aaron Frumin, the unorthodox founder of Uncommon Construction

Aaron Frumin, the unorthodox founder of Uncommon Construction

The founder and Executive Director of Uncommon Construction is Aaron Frumin.

Jeff Burkhardt, Aaron Frumin and Peter Ricchiuti, Out to Lunch at Commander's Palace

Jeff Burkhardt, Aaron Frumin and Peter Ricchiuti, Out to Lunch at Commander’s Palace

Photos over lunch at Commander’s Palace by Jill Lafleur.

Here’s some lunchtime conversation about the future of college education (and more) coming out Covid.

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