BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Economic Development and the Governor’s Office of Rural Development will join forces with local partners in five regions on consecutive Wednesdays to update stakeholders on the state’s ongoing rural revitalization efforts. The events will highlight regional economic development projects, provide an overview of the Strategic Plan for Rural Development created by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization, and offer information about available resources for rural communities.
“Rural communities are critical to Louisiana’s economic well-being,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We are working on many fronts – from internet connectivity to health care access to small business assistance – to boost these communities and to attract new projects. With investments and innovation, Louisiana is committed to providing rural stakeholders with tools for long-term success, to benefit individual communities and our entire state.”
All events are open to the public, but advance registration is required. Scheduled events include:
- Bayou Region – Aug. 24, Lafourche Parish Government Complex, 4876 Louisiana Hwy. 1, Mathews. Register here.
- Southwest Region – Aug. 31, Jennings City Hall, 154 N. Main St., Jennings. Register here.
- Southeast Region – Sept. 7, Florida Parishes Arena, 1301 NW Central Ave., Amite. Register here.
- Central Region – Sept. 14, Kees Park Community Center, 2450 Louisiana Hwy. 28, Pineville. Register here.
- Northeast Region – Sept. 21, West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe. Register here.
All of the meetings will be held from 9 to 11 a.m.
Gov. Edwards created an Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization last year to create a strategic plan for addressing concerns to rural Louisiana communities. The state continues to use that blueprint to deliver improvements in rural areas across the state.
Also in 2021, LED launched a Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative, targeting rural small businesses around the state for second-stage growth. It is the first project of its kind in the country, providing an integrated package of services – customized research, peer learning and leadership development – to specific, established rural companies. Among the early participants in the program have been small businesses from Houma, Thibodaux, Lillie, Port Vincent, Woodworth and Lake Providence.
These initiatives, recent economic development project announcements and other developments are featured on LaRuralEvolution.com. The website was launched to promote and facilitate all aspects of Louisiana’s rural revitalization efforts.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting award-winning programs like LED FastStart, rated the No. 1 customized workforce training program in the U.S. 13 years in a row. In 2021, LED attracted 64 new economic development projects representing over 18,100 new direct and indirect jobs, 9,700 retained jobs and more than $20.5 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.