Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Louisiana’s Entertainment Development Fund honored as nation’s most innovative program

by BIZ Magazine

DALLAS – Louisiana Entertainment’s workforce development initiative and redesigned website earned top honors at the 2023 International Economic Development Council Awards ceremony Tuesday.

The Entertainment Development Fund, which supports the state’s entertainment workforce through customized education and training opportunities, received a Gold Award for Innovative Programs and Initiatives. It also was nominated for Best in Show, recognizing the best economic development program in all categories. Over the last two years the EDF has awarded more than $5 million dollars in entertainment and workforce training grants to nonprofits, schools and training organizations across Louisiana.

The revamped Louisiana Entertainment website that launched last year also earned a Gold Award as the nation’s best special purpose economic development website. Earlier this summer, the website – LouisianaEntertainment.gov – also was recognized as Best of Show at the Southern Economic Development Council’s 2023 Communication Awards.

“The entertainment sector is rapidly evolving, and the Entertainment Development Fund allows us to meet the workforce needs of the future, while investing in our intellectual infrastructure today,” said Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment, a division of Louisiana Economic Development. “A lot of young people that are being trained in new technologies are able to get jobs in Louisiana. We’re proud that the IEDC has recognized the importance of this sector and the impact of this program.”

The IEDC recognition followed Louisiana’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in Business Facilities magazine’s Tech Talent Pipeline state rankings. BF also ranked Louisiana second out of 50 states for film and TV industry incentives and economic impact.

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