Industrial magazine ranks LC metro #1 in business expansion

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A popular industrial magazine, known as Site Selection, is recognizing Lake Charles as the #1 small market metro for 2010 in the number of expansions and new industrial projects.

The examples of economic growth in the lake area include Sasol chemical plant, expansion at Northrop Grumman, and the recent announcement of 100 new jobs at Aeroframe.

"Site Selection tracks these projects and at the end of the calendar year we do an evaluation of which areas are leading the country and the world in attracting these projects," said Adam Bruns, managing editor for Site Selection.

Lake area business leaders said the rise in economic expansion is due to state initiatives that create job training.

"There have been a number of initiatives that have been done statewide through the legislature and through governor Jindal such as the Fast Start program," said George Swift, President and CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. "This is one of the best workforce training programs in the nation."

Business leaders also note that the lake area offers proper training for the growing industries in the area at a local community college.

"We have Sowela Technical Community College that will help give the workers skills so they can work in the aviation industry," said Swift.

SWLA chamber officials added that exposure in the magazine is expected to draw even more international companies to the area.

"We're trying to market southwest Louisiana and Acadiana together to get international prospects to come in and look at our area," said Swift. "We're also working to get our existing companies into exporting worldwide. The SWLA Chamber Alliance offers resources to help them learn how to export."

Site Selection also ranks the state of Louisiana third in improved business climate for the year 2010.

"It's tremendous because in the past we had been near the bottom so we made terrific strides," said Swift.

The Site Selection article that features SWLA's business expansion can be found in the March 2011 issue. The publication is a 57-year old business magazine based in Atlanta.

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