Louisiana Business Development Projects Win Top Community Impact Awards For 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Trade & Industry Development magazine honored two Louisiana business development projects in its 11th Annual Corporate Investment and Community Impact Awards — known as CiCi Awards — with recognition of the IBM project in Monroe, Louisiana, and the Monster Moto project in Ruston, Louisiana.

Trade & Industry Development selected 15 Community Impact and 15 Corporate Investment recipients nationwide, for a total of 30 project winners in the 2016 CiCi Awards. Louisiana’s winning projects are the IBM Application Development and Innovation Center in Monroe (806 new direct and indirect jobs) and Monster Moto’s relocation of both its corporate headquarters and its youth-market vehicle manufacturing operations to Ruston (579 new direct and indirect jobs). The two Louisiana projects were selected among the Top 15 new Community Impact projects.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “These CiCi Awards recognize and honor our commitment to meaningful economic development projects that benefit Louisiana communities and their residents. The IBM and Monster Moto projects and others like them show what can happen when private and public interests work together successfully. Louisiana Economic Development and its regional and local partners are working to maintain a highly skilled workforce and a strong business climate, and leading companies are choosing to invest in our state and provide good jobs for our people because of the success of projects like these.”

According to Trade & Industry Development, more than 400 submissions were considered for the CiCi Awards this year. The publication determines Community Impact winners by the number of jobs created, jobs retained, unemployment figures, regional income levels, plant closings and other relevant factors. The Corporate Investment awards are based on projects that create the most new jobs, retain the most jobs and invest the most capital.

Although Louisiana’s Northeast Region had endured the loss of hundreds of jobs when major operations of State Farm in Monroe and International Paper in Bastrop closed during the past decade, the area is rebounding with projects such as IBM, the CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence and headquarters expansions in Monroe, and Monster Moto in Ruston, the publication noted.

From its Application Development and Innovation Center in Monroe, IBM will provide software technology services to clients across the United States. IBM also will partner with CenturyLink on research, development and product innovation initiatives. The facility will anchor an 88-acre technology park and mixed-use development near CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters. As part of this heightened emphasis on technological advances, area universities – with support from the State of Louisiana – will expand programs to increase the number of annual computer science graduates in Northeast Louisiana. IBM will work with the universities to recommend curricular innovations focused on technology, math and software development, and equip students to meet a growing demand for advanced analytics, process innovation and application development.

“Learning that the IBM project will be featured as the anchor in a new development, and will further establish Louisiana’s I-20 corridor as a premier investment location for digital interactive media and software development companies of varying sizes and scopes, sealed the national magazine’s decision to choose this project for a 2016 CiCi Award,” Trade & Industry Development Publisher Scott Swoger said. “In addition, Trade & Industry Development was very encouraged and impressed that Monster Moto was reshoring its operations from China to Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, and onshoring American jobs. Not only that, but because Monster Moto will … bring more than 575 direct and indirect jobs to the region, the staff who evaluate the CiCi Awards applications knew this was a project well-deserving of a 2016 CiCi Community Impact Award.”

For more information on this year’s CiCi Awards, visit www.tradeandindustrydev.com.

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