Louisiana Earns No. 8 Ranking in Site Selection Governor’s Cup

Today, Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana No. 8, on a per capita basis, among states with the most new and expanded facilities in 2020. Louisiana climbed two spots from its No. 10 ranking last year. This year’s Governor’s Cup ranking marks the 11th time in the past 12 years that Louisiana has landed in the Top 10 for project performance on a per capita basis.

Baton Rouge ranked No. 3 for most projects among mid-sized metros (200,000 to 1 million population), while Baton Rouge tied at No. 2 with St. Louis among 2020 Top Mississippi River Metros, followed by New Orleans at No. 4 and Vidalia-Natchez (Mississippi) at No. 10.

“We are proud to see Louisiana not only in Site Selection’s Top 10, but also to see our performance ranking improve over the past year,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “2020 presented Louisiana with challenges that few could have predicted, but the resiliency of our people and our economic strengths have sustained us and propelled us forward. In spite of those challenges, we attracted economic development projects in 2020 that will yield more than 11,600 new jobs and over $12 billion in future capital investment for our state.”

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. In 2020, Louisiana recorded 116 economic development project wins meeting the magazine’s criteria. Those totals include projects formally attracted by Louisiana Economic Development and its partners, as well as other projects begun in the state.

Significant project wins in 2020 include: Grön Fuels’ announcement of a potential $9.2 billion renewable fuels complex at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, which would result in over 5,500 direct and indirect new jobs; Amazon’s $100 million fulfillment center in Carencro, which will result in more than 1,400 new jobs; SchoolMint’s relocation of its California headquarters to Lafayette, with 397 new direct and indirect jobs; Mitsubishi Chemical’s potential $1 billion methyl methacrylate manufacturing complex in Geismar, with nearly 800 new jobs; and ExxonMobil’s potential $240 million investment in a suite of projects at its Baton Rouge Refinery.

Other significant Louisiana project wins include: E.I. Williams’ industrial sound-control project, with 222 new direct and indirect jobs in Webster Parish; the Advanced Aero Services aviation project with 137 new jobs at the Shreveport Regional Airport; Click Here Digital’s Baton Rouge headquarters expansion, resulting in more than 150 new jobs; a minimum $825 million renewable diesel expansion by REG in Geismar, which will result in over 380 new jobs; a $16.1 million expansion by Weyerhaeuser in Natchitoches, retaining 200 jobs and resulting in 45 new direct and indirect jobs; International Paper’s $52 million modernization of its Bogalusa Mill, retaining nearly 500 jobs; Cabot’s $90 million carbon-black expansion in Ville Platte, retaining 90 jobs and resulting in more than 60 new jobs; and Gulf Island Fabrication announcing an expansion of its Houma shipbuilding workforce, resulting in more than 220 new jobs.

Louisiana received additional recognition in 2020 for its economic development efforts. In July, Southern Business & Development ranked Louisiana No. 1 among Southern states for best economic development performance. That same month, LED FastStart® ranked No. 1 in the nation among state workforce training and talent attraction programs for the 11th consecutive year.

In October 2020, the International Economic Development Council, or IEDC, awarded a Silver Award to LED’s Community Competitiveness office for its Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program. LDRC has helped 45 Louisiana communities become more competitive for new investment and jobs over its 13-year history. Additionally, IEDC awarded LED FastStart with the IEDC Silver Award for higher education partnerships, and a Bronze Award for talent development and retention.

Louisiana won national awards from Trade & Industry Development for community impact (Epic Piping in Lake Providence) and corporate investment (Grön Fuels at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge), while Business Facilities named Grön Fuels the No. 2 project of the year in its 2020 Economic Deal of the Year competition.