Louisiana registered a banner year for business development wins in 2012, securing gamechanging projects such as GE Capital’s new 300-job technology center in New Orleans; Ronpak’s relocation of its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Shreveport; the $2.1 billion CF Industries expansion in Donaldsonville; Benteler Steel/Tube’s 675-job seamless steel tube mill and steel mill project at the Port of Caddo-Bossier; and Sasol’s integrated gas-to-liquids and ethylene complex, a 1,250-job, $16-21 billion investment in Westlake that ranks as the largest manufacturing investment in state history.
In all, LED says the state announced dozens of company expansions or relocations in 2012, launching projects that will create more than 24,000 new jobs and $22.3 billion in new capital investment, along with hundreds of millions in new sales for small businesses across Louisiana.
In its Dec. 27 report, “Selected Economic Highlights for 2012,” LED also notes that since January 2008, Louisiana’s employment performance has been significantly better than the South and the nation, with Louisiana adding jobs at a faster rate than both the South and the U.S. since the official end of the national recession in June 2009 (it's worth noting that Lafayette’s Parish’s current 3 percent unemployment is lowest in the state and the Lafayette metro had the largest increase in employment in the country in both September and October).
LED also notes that a variety of national publications recognized Louisiana’s continued economic development progress in 2012.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.