By Louisiana Economic Development
Companies are investing in Louisiana – and for good reason. Investments come from diverse sectors, but all are drawn here by the same truth: Louisiana provides unique advantages that make it an ideal place to do business.
A stalwart for energy, Louisiana’s long history of helping fuel the world added a new chapter in 2021 with the $10+ billion LNG investment by Venture Global in Cameron Parish. Meanwhile, the state continues to build a new legacy of renewable energy innovation. Strategic Biofuels LLC is among the newest enterprises investing in Louisiana with the dual objective of producing cleaner energy and economic opportunity.
The strength of Louisiana’s industrial diversity was especially evident in 2021. An already impressive roster of process industries was joined by 1,4GROUP, a unique agricultural chemical project win for the state and its local partner, the Ascension Economic Development Corp.; Arq’s innovative fuel facility at St. Rose; Avant Organics’ specialty chemical plant at the Central Louisiana Regional Port; and BioLab’s new chlorine production facility in Westlake. Ternium, a global leader in high-quality steel products, expanded the state’s advanced manufacturing sector. Rural Sourcing, a software development firm, established a base of operations near the state Capitol, reinforcing Louisiana’s emergence as a major tech hub.
The state’s first-class logistics and infrastructure are key attributes for new and expanding businesses. Breeze Airways, a new major commercial airline created by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, selected the award-winning Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans – recently named the No. 1 large airport for passenger satisfaction by J.D. Power – as a hub. And Rail Logix, a privately-owned rail yard operator, will leverage Louisiana’s standing as one of only two places in the U.S. where six Class I railroads converge.
No state can boast a stronger commitment to shovel-ready business investment—or a more rigorous prequalification process—than Louisiana. The state’s high bar for site certification is an advantage for potential investors, as witnessed by these recent projects:
Amazon. Facility investments in Louisiana by the world’s largest online retailer total nearly a half billion dollars, spread across three certified sites in Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Carencro.
Canfor. One of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper, Canada-based Canfor identified an LED Certified Site near DeRidder for a state-of-the-art lumber mill.
Ochsner Health and SafeSource Direct. Secured by the state, One Acadiana and other economic development partners, this collaboration will produce personal protective equipment, or PPE, at two manufacturing facilities, one of which is a certified site in St. Martin Parish.
Louisiana has economic prosperity on land, on water and in the air – all part of a strategy to capitalize on Louisiana’s geographic location, its well-trained workforce and its spirit of innovation. Importantly, this strategy is leading business development in noted industries like aerospace, while also furthering the state’s standing as a global trade leader.
NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans is where Boeing is assembling the Space Launch System rockets for the Artemis moon missions. Under the same roof, Lockheed Martin is developing the Orion crew capsule for NASA.
On the Mississippi River, leading-edge technology will soon help guide port logistics. The $3 million SmartPort Initiative will enhance Louisiana’s Mississippi River ports with next-generation maritime technology. The Port of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana and the Port of Greater Baton Rouge are lead partners with Louisiana Economic Development in supporting the project.
Climate Initiatives Drive Cleaner Future
Louisiana has begun to realize the profound economic benefit of diversifying its energy sector in a way that supports global climate initiatives. Speaking before the U.S. Senate and on the global stage at the COP26 summit, Gov. John Bel Edwards touted the state’s unique solutions for continuing to serve existing fossil fuel markets while responsibly transitioning to a cleaner energy future.
Already, Louisiana has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, launched a Climate Initiatives Task Force and joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to state-led action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the state’s advantages that have long made it a perfect fit for the oil and gas industry are now leading to investments in solar and wind power, carbon capture and sequestration, and alternative fuels.
Expanding In-State Business
Established Louisiana companies are expanding and taking on new business ventures. It’s a sign of continued growth for the state’s economy, and a signal that Louisiana businesses are committed to building a prosperous future for our state.
Playing a supporting role for in-state economic development, the LED Business Expansion and Retention Group (BERG) supports existing economic driver companies, which are typically mature companies in high-growth industries. These companies account for roughly 60 to 70 percent of all new job growth in Louisiana.
From energy leaders like ExxonMobil, the 12th largest company in the world by revenue according to Fortune 500’s global rankings, to Intralox, a conveyor belt manufacturer supporting productions lines, companies across the globe count on Louisiana’s advantages: low business costs, competitive incentives, natural resources, superior infrastructure and logistics, and the best workforce training program in the country.
LED FastStart: Setting the Pace
Rated the nation’s top workforce training and development program for 12 consecutive years, LED FastStart customizes employee recruitment, screening, training development and training delivery—all delivered at no cost to participating employers. The program has expertise in a range of industries, including manufacturing, corporate headquarters, digital media, customer support centers and research and development.
Collaboration with Louisiana’s higher education partners continues to be a key to the program’s success. To date, FastStart has guided over $115 million in state funding to higher education initiatives that support talent growth and skills training, helping to ensure that colleges and universities have the tools necessary to prepare Louisiana’s talent pool for new careers.
Life Science Leaders
From advanced radiopharmaceutical development and breakthrough diabetes treatments to innovative genome sequencing, Louisiana’s life sciences sector is impacting lives across the globe and strengthening the economy at home. In 2021, the state launched LouisianaLifeSciences.com focused exclusively on the companies, nonprofits and higher education institutions doing groundbreaking work in that space.
The minds cultivating Louisiana’s breakthrough developments in life sciences are unrivaled – and actively supported by leading-edge development initiatives. The state’s commitment to scientific solutions in pharmaceutical, biotech and health makes Louisiana the ideal habitat for life sciences investment.