BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development honored the state’s 2017 Lantern Award winners during a private reception today at the Governor’s Mansion. Lantern Award winners demonstrate excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to their communities through the involvement of their businesses and employees.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Louisiana’s economy, accounting for 97 percent of our employers in the state, and many of those are manufacturers,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “As recent U.S. Census Bureau findings show, Louisiana is No. 1 in value added per hour of manufacturing production work — 77 percent higher than the U.S. average. Our business leaders and our workforce can take pride in the quality of workmanship that comes from their efforts, and we are happy to honor some of our best manufacturers with these awards.”
“The Lantern Awards spotlight the efforts of Louisiana’s leading manufacturers to advance company success and the success of the Louisiana manufacturing sector,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Manufacturing jobs are vital for our state’s economy. LED teams up with partners throughout our state to make manufacturers more competitive and to enhance the quality of their workforce. We thank these Louisiana companies for the contributions they are making in their communities, and we congratulate them on their accomplishments.”
Lantern Award winners are selected by Louisiana’s eight Regional Planning and Development Districts, based on the contributions of the manufacturers to their communities, including investments in employment growth and facility expansion. Each business also must demonstrate sustainability by remaining in operation at least three years prior to the nomination.
The 2017 Lantern Award winners are:
Peppers Unlimited of Louisiana Inc.
Baumer Foods Inc.
Gnarly Barley Brewing
Roseburg Forest Products
Dupont Building Inc.
As part of the Lantern Awards ceremony, the Louisiana Quality Foundation recognizes Louisiana Performance Excellence Award winners. This year’s winners are the New Orleans Track Club and the Marrero-based ENT of New Orleans.
Since LED launched the Lantern Awards in 1979, the program has recognized more than 300 Louisiana manufacturing businesses. LED’s program partners include the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and the Louisiana Quality Foundation.
Award winners receive lanterns handcrafted and donated by Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights of New Orleans. The lanterns have become an internationally recognized trademark of New Orleans, and Bevolo is the oldest and largest copper gas lantern manufacturer in the U.S. and the second-oldest in the world.