Saturday, July 13, 2024

Louisiana Earns National Honors and Top 10 Rankings for Economic Growth

by BIZ Magazine

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana has received significant recognition for its economic growth, securing national awards and top 10 rankings from two prominent business trade publications. Area Development Magazine awarded Louisiana the prestigious Gold and Green Shovel Awards, while Business Facilities Magazine ranked the state in the top 10 for custom workforce training, tech talent pipeline, and life sciences sector strength.

These accolades follow a milestone legislative session aimed at accelerating Louisiana’s economic progress. Governor Jeff Landry signed four new statutes designed to enhance the state’s ability to attract and retain business investment and develop a skilled workforce.

“Three things about Louisiana’s economy are irrefutably true: Business investment is increasing, a strategic plan for growth and innovation is emerging, and our industries and workforce are diversifying,” said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois. “It’s encouraging to see national economic development experts validate that hard-earned progress. The Governor, the Legislature, LED, and all of our public and private sector partners have confronted the challenges our state faces head-on, and are positioning Louisiana to win.”

Area Development Magazine’s Gold Shovel Award recognizes states that have secured exceptional economic development projects with significant capital investment and job creation. The Green Shovel Award, newly introduced, honors Louisiana’s commitment to renewable energy, noting nearly $60 billion in energy innovation and emissions reduction projects announced over the past five years.

“Local booms are what Area Development’s Shovel Awards recognize,” the magazine stated. “Each year, we scan the records of project announcements to see which states are epicenters of growth. Those with exceptionally strong activity are honored with Gold and Silver shovels.”

Business Facilities’ annual state rankings report once again highlighted LED FastStart as one of the nation’s best workforce development programs, ranking it No. 2 for customized workforce training for the 15th consecutive year. The state also finished in the top five for the best U.S. tech talent pipeline for the second year in a row and in the top 10 for life sciences strength for the first time.

“Focused on more than 60 factors pertinent to site selection teams for business relocation and expansion investments, these rankings serve as a valuable resource for corporate site selectors and site selection consultants,” Business Facilities noted.

Louisiana also placed among the top 10 states in Site Selection Magazine’s 2024 Prosperity Cup, which ranks states by per capita new and expanded facilities, capital investment, and jobs.

During the 2024 legislative session, four new statutes were enacted to further accelerate Louisiana’s economic progress:

  • Act 590: Known as the “Positioning Louisiana to Win” bill, this act modernizes the organizational structure of Louisiana Economic Development to move at the speed of business and empower private sector involvement in business attraction and retention.
  • Act 330: Empowers the Louisiana Workforce Commission to address personnel shortages and improve workforce solutions across major economic sectors.
  • Act 327: Provides incentives for companies to invest in lithium recovery projects, boosting the state’s electric vehicle battery supply chain cluster.
  • Act 370: Aims to spur growth in the state’s data center market by providing a state and local sales and use tax rebate on the purchase of data center equipment.

Recognizing the state’s new economic leadership and vision, Site Selection magazine featured LED Secretary Bourgeois in its most recent issue, praising her efforts to drive economic development.

“The state’s new leader of economic development is here to ‘blow it up,’” reporter Gary Daughters wrote in the publication’s July State Spotlight. “Things are looking up in Louisiana. … Louisiana has unique assets that owe to its geography, legacy industries, and culture. They translate well to emerging trends.”

About LED
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for driving capital investment, job creation, and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes. Explore how LED is positioning Louisiana to win at OpportunityLouisiana.com.

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