Lafayette, LA (KPLC) - Thanks to big industries, Louisiana's workforce is growing in Southwest Louisiana.
"It's a tremendous economic opportunity for Lake Charles and for those that want to work, the opportunity will be there," said U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.
Boustany spoke in Lafayette, discussing Louisiana's goal to lead in exports.
And with that ambition, comes more jobs in the Lake Area, which could even mean a workforce shortage.
"If all this comes through, there may be more jobs than workers available which means population will grow and we'll have infrastructure and housing needs as well," said Boustany.
The first big industry wave is expected to hit mid-2014 and only grow from there.
But even though the jobs are coming, business leaders say preparing should start now.
"We have some wonderful training services available, but people have to available themselves for the programs," said R.B. Smith, vice president of workforce development at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
And the many new opportunities mean Southwest Louisiana comes first.
"We're going to homegrow as many of these workers as we can to make sure we can fill the jobs that are available and keep the money here at home," said Smith.