At this time of the year, we reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019.
Southwest Louisiana had another successful year with a growing economy and record employment.
• Many of the large industrial projects are nearing completion.
• Another $65 billion in projects are in various stages of planning and development.
• The overall development total of $109 billion in SWLA leads the nation. These projects are expected to create over 18,000 permanent jobs now and in the future and that provides an opportunity for our region to cut the poverty rate and increase the standard of living for all residents.
A major factor in the growth in our area is regional cooperation. Since the formation of the Alliance in 2006, our elected officials in the five parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jeff Davis have worked together, and for that we thank them. Our allies, such as the area ports and airports, provide services and infrastructure. The Calcasieu Ship Channel is a major asset and the need for dredging the ship channel and a new I-10 bridge remain critical issues we are working on together to solve.
The Chamber SWLA represents 1,350 members with over 70,000 employees and serves as the voice of business and community development. We thank each member firm for caring about our region. Please utilize our members for your goods and services. When you shop, look for the Chamber SWLA decal on the door.
Our five parish economic development efforts are funded by private and public entities. In many locations across the country, a tax is collected to fund economic development, but, in our region, over 60% of our funding comes from the private sector. These are businesses that realize that for our area to grow and prosper a strong and aggressive economic development organization is needed.
The old saying, “a rising tide lifts all ships” is true. As our region grows there is more opportunity for all businesses and for more jobs for our residents.
We offer a special thank-you to all of the Chamber SWLA members and Alliance Foundation investors for your support of our region.
You can be proud to know that the Chamber SWLA is a fivestar accredited chamber, in the top 1% in the nation. The Alliance has been named as one of the top ten economic development organizations in the nation, four of the last six years.
Our Alliance staff is hard-working and multi-tasking experts. We have been able to accomplish a lot this year thanks to our great staff and over 250 volunteers who serve on our boards and committees.
Thank you to all. We know 2019 promises to be another strong year for our economy.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.