ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development has recognized West Feliciana Parish as the state’s newest Louisiana Development Ready Community. Now in its 12th year, the Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program guides selected communities through the creation and implementation of a strategic plan. By following the plan for multiple years, LDRC participants become more competitive in attracting growth to their communities.
Parish President Kenny Havard accepted the award from LED officials during a West Feliciana Parish Council meeting this week. West Feliciana is the 43rd community to earn the LDRC designation and the first parish to do so. The other 42 participants are municipalities.
“Local communities throughout Louisiana that take the initiative to prepare themselves for economic growth are very important,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “We are happy to see West Feliciana Parish join these ranks and applaud their leadership. Through the Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program, communities can position themselves to attract new business investment and recruit quality jobs. This is achieved by focusing on unique strategies to become better prepared and, when evaluated, more competitive. We congratulate West Feliciana Parish for undertaking this rigorous program, and we are happy to welcome the parish to the LDRC Program.”
The LDRC Program encourages communities to devise and implement a written plan to leverage assets and address their particular challenges. A typical community plan includes strategies to address education, workforce development, infrastructure, leadership, marketing and communications.
“This is a milestone for West Feliciana Parish, and it comes at an important time,” Havard said. “This parishwide effort is enhanced by the new spirit of collaboration that is developing between the parish and our only municipality, the town of St. Francisville. As we work together on issues such as tourism growth, including our Mississippi Riverfront Gateway Development project, we can generate new economic activity and create more good jobs for our citizens.”
The LDRC process enables participating communities to chart their progress from year to year, even across changes in political administrations. Once a municipality or parish is accepted into the program, it must implement six elements of its plan within a year.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our growing parish,” said Jim A. Cavanaugh, director of economic development for West Feliciana Parish. “We will continue to excel through collaboration, teamwork and open dialogue between the town of St. Francisville and the parish. We look forward to continuing our valued partnership with Louisiana Economic Development and remain committed to strategically preparing our community for economic growth.”
Additional communities in the state are working toward certification through the LDRC Program. For more information about the LDRC Program, visit the LED website or contact LED Director of Community Competitiveness Stacey Neal at [email protected] or 225.342.4703.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.