|Monday, October 24, 2005|
Less than two weeks after Katrina made Louisiana landfall on August 29, Dominion Exploration and Production relocated 350 of its New Orleans employees and their immediate families in Houston. Dominion provided housing, offices, loans and other assistance.
With full support and rapid coordination from the parent company, Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D), the Houston offices searched for and located all 430 of its New Orleans employees who had scattered to 14 different states during the evacuation of their city. The conclusion of the search was followed by the full deployment of Dominion’s employee support campaign, said Dominion E&P President and CEO Duane Radtke.
“We are fully engaged in efforts to restore some normalcy to the lives of our employees and their families,” said Radtke.
Dominion’s offshore exploration and production business was based at the Dominion Tower in the central business district of New Orleans. Because of the storm damage, that business has been moved temporarily to the company’s offices in the Greenspoint area and in downtown Houston.
Other employees returned to their assignments on offshore platforms and a small number were relocated elsewhere.
In Houston, furnished and outfitted apartments were waiting to receive most of the evacuees at 21 different local apartment complexes, said Donna Kelliher, Dominion’s director of travel services.
“We know that it is important for our employees and their families to have somewhere to call ‘home,’ even as they work to rebuild their permanent ones in Louisiana,” said Kelliher.
Gallery Furniture and Preferred Corporate Housing supplied furniture and housewares to outfit the Houston apartments. Jon Lanclos, president and CEO of Preferred Corporate Housing, said,
“A few families broke down and cried with relief and happiness when they saw their apartments. I am especially touched by Dominion’s efforts on behalf of their people.”
The company’s Houston employees and their spouses are volunteering to provide information regarding local schools, doctors, stores, public facilities and other resources.
In addition, Dominion is arranging pay advances, no-interest loans of up to $25,000 and other assistance for relocated employees and their families. Employees at Dominion locations in 28 states and Canada have been contributing to a relief fund that will be used to help fellow employees who suffered losses because of the storm. Donations total $117,000 so far.
“We often talk about our company as being ‘One Dominion’ and that is exactly how everyone is reacting,” Radtke said. “Along with the E&P employees here in Houston and elsewhere, we are receiving assistance from everywhere across the parent company. The outpouring of support has been amazing.”
Affected employees were very appreciative of the extent and the rapidity of the support they received, said Andy Lundy, director of human resources.
“Some employees are telling us of spouses whose companies said, ‘Don’t call us; we’ll call you.’”
It is too soon to know when the Dominion Tower in New Orleans will be ready to occupy again.