When Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in 2008, he quickly made economic development a top priority for his administration. In the ensuing eight years, under the governor’s leadership and with the support of the Legislature and regional and local economic development partners, Louisiana’s economy has outperformed the South and the nation with private-sector job growth ranking No. 2 regionally and No. 9 nationally.

We have worked to transform Louisiana Economic Development, or LED, into a fast, creative and solution-oriented partner for corporate executives and site selection consultants, as well as a champion for existing Louisiana employers. Aided by state policy reforms, Louisiana has secured projects since 2008 that are resulting in more than 91,000 new jobs and more than $62 billion in new capital investment.

Our work has led to world-class capital investment and job creation projects in diverse sectors of the economy, in every region of the state. We have made great strides in recent years to attract software development and digital media projects that include IBM in Baton Rouge and Monroe, CSC in Bossier City, CGI in Lafayette, and GE Capital and Gameloft in New Orleans. We have recruited major international commerce investments, such as Sasol and Benteler Steel/Tube, broadened import-export activities connected to the state’s major ports, and twice announced expansions of Louisiana’s largest Fortune 500 firm, CenturyLink. We have worked with businesses across the globe to expand the state’s mainstay energy, chemical and manufacturing operations. Many of these successes were enabled through innovative public/private partnerships with higher education institutions, including Louisiana Tech, LSU, Uof Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of New Orleans, and numerous LCTCS campuses.

Louisiana’s economy has been aided by reforms of governmental ethics laws, business taxes and workforce development programs. Our innovative solutions include LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program; our dedicated Business Expansion and Retention Group, which has helped secure more than 175 expansion projects since 2008; and an array of targeted small business services. Through such initiatives, LED is committed to retaining and strengthening Louisiana’s existing businesses, recruiting growth industries to the state, and enhancing small business competitiveness. A strong chorus of third-party publications affirms our state’s progress. In every national business climate ranking, Louisiana stands higher today that it ever did prior to 2008. Louisiana now ranks among the top 10 states in the U.S. in five national business climate rankings. According to Southern Business & Development, Louisiana has attracted more significant business development projects per capita than any other Southern state for each of the past six years on record.

Thanks to the leadership of Jindal and the Legislature and the continuing support of elected officials and economic development partners throughout the state, Louisiana now is positioned as America’s new frontier for business opportunity.

Steven Grissom

secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

Baton Rouge