DALLAS – Louisiana Economic Development workforce development and entertainment initiatives earned top honors at the 2023 International Economic Development Council Awards ceremony Tuesday.
The Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Program, LED FastStart’s workforce training collaboration with Nunez Community College in Chalmette and Boeing based at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, earned a Gold Award in the category of Partnerships with Educational Institutions. LED FastStart’s utilization of virtual reality for customized workforce training also earned national recognition from IEDC, taking home the Silver Award for Digital Media.
Louisiana Entertainment’s workforce initiative, the Entertainment Development Fund, received a Gold Award for Innovative Programs and Initiatives as well as a nomination for Best in Show, recognizing the best economic development program in all categories. 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.
“LED’s distinction as the only state Accredited Economic Development Organization in the United States speaks volumes about the level of our commitment to economic development excellence in all that we do,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “The extraordinary growth in jobs and capital investment and the accelerating pace of economic diversification are a direct result of the passion for public service exhibited by the LED team and our regional economic development and higher education partners. I’m incredibly proud of their efforts and gratified to see them receive the recognition that they so richly deserve.”
The IEDC recognition followed Louisiana’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in Business Facilities magazine’s Tech Talent Pipeline state rankings. LED FastStart earned the No. 2 spot nationally for customized training, the 14th consecutive year that state business incentive program has ranked among the Top 2 workforce development programs in the country. BF also ranked Louisiana second out of 50 states for both manufacturing output and film and TV industry incentives and economic impact.
Along with the strong showing in the state rankings, three Louisiana cities landed top 10 spots in Business Facilities’ metro rankings report. New Orleans was named the No. 2 logistics leader category, supported by the Port of New Orleans earning the No. 7 spot in top performing container ports. Gramercy was ranked No. 3 for Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) export activity and No. 4 for FTZ import activity. Lake Charles ranked No. 7 for small metro manufacturing hubs.
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, a longtime national leader in customized workforce development. LED also supports a wide range of higher ed partnerships that Business Facilities magazine recently credited for Louisiana’s ranking as the No. 1 Tech Talent Pipeline in the U.S. In 2022, LED attracted 53 new economic development projects representing 18,137 new direct, indirect and retained jobs and $20.7 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.