Five communities in northeast Louisiana will each develop a strategic economic development plan through Louisiana Economic Development’s Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program (LDRC). The goal of the LDRC is to assist the state’s communities in becoming more competitive, which will prepare them to successfully pursue and capture economic opportunities. The LDRC was established in 2009 and has 32 active communities.
The communities chosen for the LDRC program are Bastrop, Delhi, Lake Providence, Rayville, and Tallulah. The LED has engaged these five communities in northeast Louisiana as an outcome of the Strong Economies Together (SET) initiative sponsored by the Southern Regional Development Council. Locally known as SET FOREVER, the parishes of Morehouse, West Carroll, East Carroll, Madison, and Richland, developed a regional economic blueprint that builds upon current and emerging economic strengths of the region in the fall 2016.
A kickoff meeting for the LDRC program was held at the Bastrop Municipal Center on Friday, February 10. The mayor and steering and sustainability committee members learned about the strategic economic development planning process firsthand from longtime LDRC Consultant, Ardyn Thriffiley and northeast Louisiana representative, Lynn Lewis. The committee was formed by Mayor Arthur Jones to oversee the process and develop the strategic plan for Bastrop. The three-month process involves a community assessment including data gathering by the committee, along with input from citizens and businesses via an online survey and a town hall meeting designed to understand Bastrop’s strengths and weaknesses including priorities for economic growth and sustainability.
After completing the strategic economic development plan, Bastrop will be designated as a Louisiana Development Ready Community, a highly-recognized program throughout the U.S. for preparing communities to compete in a global economy.
The LED LDRC Resource Team supporting Bastrop throughout the process includes LED’s Small Business Services and Community Competitiveness staff Pat Witty and Skip Smart, Thriffiley, Tana Trichel and Michelle Boothe of the Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance, Lewis, and David Creed of the North Delta Regional Planning & Development District. Lynn Lewis will facilitate the communities throughout the three-month process utilizing the LDRC framework and tools LED has in place to assist the communities.
For more information about the Louisiana Development Ready Communities Program visit the website at www.louisianacommunitynetwork.org. To participate in theCommunity Survey being conducted in association with this initiative go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHQGWKL