Renewable energy, health care, aviation among Lafayette Economic Development priorities4 min read
The Lafayette Financial Enhancement Authority unveiled a new a few-year strategic strategy Tuesday, which aims to enable the firm capitalize on the successes of the previous many a long time though continuing to make improvements to the parish’s financial state.
The strategic approach arrives about five months into Mandi Mitchell’s tenure as the organization’s president and CEO. The LEDA board selected Mitchell to head the group in September just after Gregg Gothreaux introduced he was stepping down soon after 26 decades.
Mitchell, who is the to start with lady to head LEDA, was formerly the assistant secretary for Louisiana Economic Development.
As section of the new strategic prepare, LEDA also launched a new brand, incorporating design and style elements from the Acadiana flag.
In the new strategic prepare, LEDA outlines many new and ongoing initiatives, as nicely as how it plans to evaluate its results in the years to occur. Here is a breakdown of some of the critical sections of the plan.
Energy, health and fitness care among focus on industries
The strategic approach identifies 7 industries that LEDA wishes to broaden in Lafayette Parish: energy, health and fitness treatment, engineering, manufacturing, aviation, retail, and logistics, transportation and warehousing.
The parish already has substantial ties to some of the focus on industries — specially energy and overall health treatment — and other folks have been a growing section of Lafayette’s financial state over the last quite a few years.
Lafayette Parish’s ties to the energy field are no mystery. Among the Oil Heart and the Petroleum Club, the connection between Lafayette and the oil and gasoline sector is difficult to miss out on, even now in a time when offshore drilling is much less preferred.
LEDA’s new strategic system does not convey any kind of desire or initiative to divest from oil and fuel, nevertheless the area’s financial state has typically trended absent from oil and gasoline dependence. In accordance to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area’s focus of mining and oil and gasoline employment was 14-times the national average in the 3rd quarter of 2021. That’s significant, but it can be drastically decreased than in the initial quarter of 2017, when the jobs were 16 situations extra concentrated in Lafayette.
While the strategy does not say everything about divesting from oil and gas, it does make it crystal clear that LEDA plans to grow in the renewable vitality sector. One particular of its targets is to “raise recognition of electricity changeover alternatives” and to situation the parish to grow to be a player in offshore wind, photo voltaic, and hydrogen power, as properly as carbon seize, utilization and storage.
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Wellbeing care and engineering have been two of the speediest-expanding sectors in Acadiana in new yrs. In the past number of a long time, the parish has viewed extra than 700 jobs extra by expansions of two health treatment providers (LHC Team and Viemed), as nicely as the additions of engineering companies SchoolMint and CGI.
The well being treatment sector is also established for further more advancement in Lafayette, with Ochsner Health’s acquisition of the Lafayette Normal Wellness Technique and UnitedHealth’s planned buy of LHC Group having the opportunity to even more posture Lafayette as a well being treatment hub.
The parish also had many manufacturing wins in the past few several years, such as Completeful, Westfield Hydraulics, Kibberia and SafeSource Immediate. It also experienced a important gain in the logistics, transportation and warehousing sector with Amazon making its 1st Louisiana success heart in Lafayette Parish.
Increasing prospects on the Northside, for minority enterprise owners
Mitchell, a Northside Higher University graduate, has been apparent that Lafayette’s Northside will play a crucial purpose in the parish’s economic potential.
In the strategic prepare, LEDA reported it will assistance the creation of a modest enterprise expert services middle in North Lafayette, which would present education, mentorship, networking and small business boot camps.
The program also reported LEDA would function toward redevelopment and revitalization in North Lafayette, which include advocating for community infrastructure investments and attracting private investment.
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The approach also put a focus on aiding minority-, females- and veteran-owned companies in the parish. LEDA is planning to companion with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Lafayette Consolidated Governing administration to digitize the Black Internet pages of Lafayette and to consist of other minority small business groups.
Advocating for infrastructure financial commitment
The LEDA strategic approach devotes one portion to actual physical infrastructure enhancements that could support facilitate economic enhancement across the parish, including roadways, broadband, and sewer programs.
In addition to supporting traditional infrastructure advancements and greater online obtain, LEDA also claimed it would help the College of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Master Approach enhancements and advocate for advancements alongside Louisiana Avenue, the Evangeline Thruway Corridor/I-49 Connector and the University Avenue Corridor, as effectively as practical assistance roadways alongside I-10.
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The strategy also states LEDA will guidance advancements in the 5 financial development districts in Lafayette Parish.
This short article at first appeared on Lafayette Everyday Advertiser: Lafayette Economic Advancement shares program to improve parish overall economy