WINNSBORO, La. — Louisiana Economic Development has recognized Winnsboro as the state’s newest Louisiana Development Ready Community. Winnsboro, the seat of rural Franklin Parish, becomes the 44th participant in the community development program, now in its 12th year. The Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program helps participants prepare and become more competitive for new investment and jobs.
The LDRC Program guides selected communities through the creation and implementation of a strategic plan. By following its plan for multiple years, participants leverage their assets and address their particular challenges to become more competitive in attracting growth to their communities.
“This LED program is one of our most effective tools for helping Louisiana communities be all they can be,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “LDRC is particularly powerful for rural areas and smaller municipalities outside metro regions, helping them prepare for investment, for jobs and for the future. We appreciate the initiative of community leaders both in Winnsboro and across Franklin Parish as they embrace this effort. Louisiana is fortunate to have uniquely gifted communities such as these that make valuable contributions to our state. We are happy to welcome Winnsboro to the LDRC Program.”
A Winnsboro-based economic development task force invited input from residents throughout Franklin Parish. Based on the survey results it collected, the task force identified strategies for improving broadband access, economic development, parks and recreation, education and sharing the community’s story. Bringing high-speed internet service to local businesses and residents was identified as the top priority for the town and parish.
The project manager for the Winnsboro task force is Carmen Sims, owner of a local healthcare consulting and management firm and a member of the Winnsboro-Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce.
“We are excited about the strategic plan and are ready to move forward working on meeting our goals,” Sims said. “It has been great to see community members from all areas join forces. We are a community ready to work together, and that is unique in this day and time. Winnsboro has a lot to offer, and we want everyone to know that. Great things are on the horizon for Winnsboro and Franklin Parish.”
The LDRC process enables participating communities to chart their progress from year to year, even across changes in political administrations. Once a municipality or parish is accepted into the program, it must implement six elements of its plan within a year. The Winnsboro group started the process in July 2019 and its completed plan was approved by the Town Council in late June.
The Louisiana Municipal Association remains a strong supporter of the LDRC Program for cities, towns and villages throughout the state. The LMA plans to recognize Winnsboro for its participation in the program at the association’s mid-winter conference early in 2021.
For more information about the LDRC Program, visit the LED website or contact LED Director of Community Competitiveness Stacey Neal at [email protected] or 225.342.4703.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.