BATON ROUGE – Site Selection magazine has ranked Louisiana No. 8, on a per capita basis, among states with the most new and expanded facilities in 2017.
This year’s Governor’s Cup ranking marks the ninth consecutive year Louisiana has landed in the Top 10 for investments on a per capita basis.
The Governor’s Cup measures the quantity of significant business development projects for the calendar year. Site Selection tallies the number of projects in a state that represent one or more of the following criteria: a minimum capital investment of $1 million, 20 or more new jobs created, and 20,000 square feet or more of new building space. Louisiana recorded 125 such projects in 2017. Overall for 2017, Louisiana ranked No. 4 in the South Central Region, after a No. 3 finish the prior year. On an absolute basis, Louisiana ranked No. 17 for Governor’s Cup project performance after placing No. 11 the prior year. The state has posted rankings in recent years that exceed its prior historical performance.
“As we look across Louisiana, we are witnessing economic progress all over our state, giving us genuine cause for optimism,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Today’s ranking in the Site Selection Governor’s Cup is confirmation of what we’ve always known: Louisiana is, and will always be, a welcoming, ideal location for new investment, and we remain poised and ready to compete for new projects. Louisiana’s Top 10 ranking affirms we are on the right track to create a strong business climate for new investments, new jobs for our people, and stronger communities for Louisiana families.”
Since 2012, Louisiana has attracted $178.8 billion in active capital investment projects, with $85 billion of that investment now under construction or in the engineering and permitting phases. Louisiana’s No. 8 per capita ranking included many of the major business development projects the state successfully recruited in 2017, including expansion announcements by existing companies in Louisiana and the attraction of new companies to the state.
For example, Glovis America announced a 150-job inland distribution center in Shreveport to outfit imported vehicles with equipment and exterior upgrades; Graphic Packaging and DHL announced a combined $274 million capital investment to expand a West Monroe mill and develop a 1.27 million-square-foot folding carton plant and logistics center in Monroe; Wanhua Chemical Group of China selected Louisiana for a $1.12 billion project to build a polyurethanes plant; Lotte Chemical announced the relocation of its headquarters from Houston to Lake Charles, in conjunction with a $3 billion expansion in Southwest Louisiana; and DXC Technology announced a 2,000-job Digital Transformation Center in the heart of New Orleans, ranking as the largest single economic development announcement, by jobs, in state history.
Louisiana’s 43 largest projects in 2017 represented a capital investment of more than $4.66 billion, resulting in 13,138 new direct and indirect jobs and retaining 7,714 jobs at expanding employer sites in the state.
In the 2017 Governor’s Cup awards, Site Selection also recognized high-performing metro areas across the U.S., with Baton Rouge and New Orleans earning honors among Louisiana cities. Among top-performing metropolitan areas across the country, Baton Rouge ranked No. 6 among cities of 200,000 to 1 million population. For all metros in the South Central Region, New Orleans ranked No. 7 and Baton Rouge ranked No. 9.
Louisiana now ranks among the Top 10 states in multiple business climate rankings. In November 2017, Louisiana ranked No. 10 in the Site Selection Best States for Business report, its eighth consecutive year in the Top 10. In September 2017, Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana as a Top 5 State for Doing Business for the second year in a row. In July 2017, Southern Business & Development ranked Louisiana No. 1 among Southern states for attracting the most significant capital investment and job-creation projects per capita for the ninth year in a row.
Also in July 2017, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart® as the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program for a record eighth year in a row. The publication also ranked Louisiana as the No. 1 state in the nation for Cybersecurity Growth Potential. Additionally, Business Facilities awarded Louisiana Top 10 rankings for Best Infrastructure, Best Cost of Doing Business, Economic Growth Potential, Export Leadership, and Low Industrial Electricity Rates. Louisiana received a grade of A+ in Thumbtack’s 2017 report card on small business friendliness, with the state ranking No. 4 overall.