NLEP Recognized as LABI's Economic Development Partner of the Year
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    November 6, 2017

    NLEP Recognized as LABI's Economic Development Partner of the Year

    (SHREVEPORT -  MONROE, La) North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization, won the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI) 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award. This prestigious statewide honor recognizes exceptional leadership by an economic development organization.  This Award will be formally presented to NLEP at the second annual 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.  This recognition is a testament to the strong financial support of NLEP’s investors, the leadership and guidance provided by the Board of Directors and the talented professional staff of NLEP!”

    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.  LABI serves as Louisiana’s state chamber of commerce and manufacturing association, representing 2,200 large and small companies across industry sectors and from every region of the state. 

    "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. We are proud to work with NLEP President Scott Martinez and his entire team. We look forward to honoring their hard work and dedication to the 14-parish region they serve on November 16th."

    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.  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.

    To develop and diversify the portfolio of sites in North Louisiana, NLEP, working 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. 

    To support employers in the region, NLEP developed and implemented its Top Skills workforce development program to enhance the workforce pipeline and to encourage more students to enter manufacturing and STEM-related fields. 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.

    As an advocate for North Louisiana in matters of economic development policy, NLEP serves as a unifying voice to strengthen the region’s position in state public policy that impacts economic development. NLEP hosts regular legislative breakfasts during the state legislative session and other legislative events year-round to educate North Louisiana’s delegation of 21 representatives and 10 senators on how public policy issues impact the region’s economy. 

    “We are honored be recognized by our peers around the State and the nation,” said Scott Martinez, NLEP President. “In additional to LABI’s Economic Development Partner of the Year Award, NLEP also won three Excellence in Economic Development Awards in Toronto, Canada from the International Economic Development Council, the leading organization for professional economic developers.  We had a tremendous year in 2017 and plan to keep the momentum going in the new year.”

    About North Louisiana Economic Partnership

    North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, provides professional economic development services to the 14 parish region of North Louisiana, including lead generation and prospect management. The organization also represents the interests of North Louisiana with a unified voice and as a single point of contact. It acts as a catalyst, a convener, and a connector in the region to ensure that North Louisiana’s economic development potential is realized. Its vision is for North Louisiana to be a thriving region-a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies, and global investment.


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