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NLEP Honored as LABI’s Economic Development Partner of the Year

Paul Sableman |
North Louisiana Economic Partnership wins the 2017 Econimic Development Partner of the Year Award.

North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), won the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI) 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award.

This statewide award recognizes leadership by an economic development organization.  This Award will be formally presented at the LABI Free Enterprise Awards Ceremony in Baton Rouge on November 16, 2017.

“I am very proud of North Louisiana Economic Partnership’s accomplishments in the last seven years since becoming a regional economic development organization,” said Jerry Allen, NLEP Board Chair & CenturyLink Vice President of Revenue.

“Winning LABI’s 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award validates the work that NLEP has done developing and implementing a regional economic development strategic plan, developing certified sites in our region, establishing a nationally-recognized workforce program, and becoming more engaged in economic development public policy” said Allen.

LABI annually bestows the Economic Development Partner of Year Award to an economic development or business organization that demonstrates significant impact and outreach to the broader community, unique competitive advantages, and comprehensive plans for the next five or ten years.  

"The North Louisiana Economic Partnership is a strong and valued partner in the efforts grow Louisiana’s economy,” said Stephen Waguespack, LABI President and CEO. “They have a focused approach to support existing industries and grow emerging employers in the region."

Since 2013, NLEP completed 32 projects to North Louisiana that created more than 3,500 new direct jobs and generated $586.8 million in direct capital investment. 

The North Louisiana Economic Partnership is a strong and valued partner in the efforts grow Louisiana's economy. -- Steven Waguespak, LABI President

NLEP also developed and implemented a comprehensive five-year economic development strategic plan that identified target industry sectors, based on North Louisiana’s unique assets.  The plan helps coordinate efforts among local and regional partners, so communities within North Louisiana can better collaborate and leverage collective resources to promote economic development.

The organization worked with Louisiana Economic Development, assisted local partners in the certification of more than 4,000 acres of development-ready sites in the region. These certified sites allow a company to fast track a project, while reducing the cost and risk of locating in North Louisiana.

NLEP has also been working with higher education and K-12 schools to align their curricula with the needs of North Louisiana employers. NLEP’s Top Skills program has launched numerous workforce initiatives like the award-winning North Louisiana Manufacturing Week, an online internship database called interNET, as well as seminars to educate the business community on ACT WorkKeys Assessments and internships.

“We are honored be recognized by our peers around the State and the nation,” said Scott Martinez, NLEP President. "We had a tremendous year in 2017 and plan to keep the momentum going in the new year.”