BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Southern Business & Development recognized both Louisiana and Texas as Co-State of the Year for 2013. This represents the fourth time in five years that Southern Business & Development magazine designated Louisiana as State or Co-State of the Year in the South.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “When we took office, we made economic development our top priority, and we immediately got to work on making Louisiana the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family. Today’s announcement from Southern Business & Development magazine is more proof that our work is paying off. For four of the last five years, Louisiana has been named State or Co-State of the Year by Southern Business & Development. This honor demonstrates our commitment to creating jobs and opportunities for Louisianians across the state.”
Several Louisiana communities also earned SB&D honors. Baton Rouge and New Orleans placed first and second, respectively, for Major Market of the Year, and Lake Charles came in second for Mid-Market of the Year. Ascension Parish drew a Special Recognition Award from the magazine as the parish or county within a metro area that generated the most impressive job-creation results across the South. The magazine based this recognition on several notable projects, including investments from CF Industries, BASF, Honeywell and Methanex.
States earn 5 to 10 points for each economic development project that will generate $30 million or more in capital investment and 5 to 10 points for each project that will result in 200 or more jobs. The maximum 10 points for jobs or capital investment (or both) is applied if the project in question is among the 100 largest in the South for jobs and/or capital investment.
For the 2013 award, Louisiana earned the most points per million residents, and established a record-high score among Southern states. With 124.4 points per million residents, Louisiana easily outdistanced second-place Oklahoma (70.3) and third-place West Virginia (55.5). This is the second time in three years that Louisiana set a record for points per million residents.
Louisiana earned top honors with a wide variety of project announcements and expansions in 2012, such as Sasol’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) and ethane-cracker complex in Calcasieu Parish, Sempra’s natural gas liquefaction export facility in Cameron Parish, Magnolia LNG’s planned export facility at the Port of Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish, the CF Industries expansion in Ascension Parish, Benteler Steel’s seamless tube mill and steel mill at The Port of Caddo-Bossier, and others.
The Southern Business & Development annual SB&D 100 issue places the state and metro rankings within the context of the 100 biggest, job-creating projects of the year. The Top 100 economic development projects across the South in 2012 are estimated to produce 63,932 jobs.
Louisiana now ranks higher in every national business-climate ranking than it ever did prior to 2008. In three national business climate rankings – those published by Area Development, Business Facilities and Site Selection – Louisiana now ranks among the Top 10 states in the U.S.
Since January 2008, LED has secured economic development projects that are creating more than 63,000 new jobs, more than $28 billion in new capital investment and hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for small businesses across the state.
Louisiana earned State or Co-State of the Year designations from Southern Business & Development in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and Business Facilities has honored LED FastStart® as the nation’s No. 1 workforce training program for the past four years in a row. Site Selection named LED the best-performing state economic development agency in the nation in 2011, and Pollina Corporate Real Estate ranked LED as tied for the best-performing state economic development agency in the nation in 2013.
For more about the 2013 State of the Year rankings in Southern Business & Development, visit www.sb-d.com.