SWLA Alliance grant helps plan for the future - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA Alliance grant helps plan for the future

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Southwest Louisiana is no stranger to growing industry and with growth comes new jobs.

In coming years, there will be a need for expansion as David Conner of SWLA Economic Development Alliance explains, "With the impending growth that's coming our way, we're expecting anywhere from around 20,000 new permanent jobs to be created. These projects are also going to bring in over 26,000 construction jobs."

But, how are we going to make sure these new residents have somewhere to live?

That's where the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance comes in. The group is working in conjunction with the Growth and Opportunity Group Committee as they implement a strategic housing plan in the five-parish area.

The alliance can do this because of a grant, partially funded by the Office of Community Development.

"We want to build in such a way that we do have a chance to keep the character of Southwest Louisiana as close as it is now," Conner said.

The new housing developments will play an important role in getting new employees here, said Conner.

"As they're recruiting employees for these new jobs here from other parts of the state or other parts of the nation, or even other parts of the world, is there adequate housing? Is there a suitable kind of housing as they recruit? So, housing becomes a big issue as a recruitment tool," he said.

Building adequate housing may be a problem, officials say, but it's a good problem to have as Southwest Louisiana continues to grow.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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