Louisiana’s Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning & Development District Celebrates 50 Years of Economic Development Success and 51 Years of Collaboration
Celebrating 50 years of charter as an EDA Economic Development District (EDD) at their August 9, 2018 Annual Meeting, the Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning & Development District (District) showcases how important coordinated, comprehensive economic development planning is to catalyzing regional business development and job growth efforts. From their model for base re-use at England Airpark, to cluster development efforts in Pineville and the leveraging of infrastructure projects throughout the region, the District plays a pivotal role in promoting regionalism to help central Louisiana meet its economic development goals.
Regionalism is collaboration and it has great returns. According to the District, in their 51 years, every $1 of local government dues, has drawn $1,129 of combined investment into their region by leveraging Public Works for #infrastructure and #jobs.
EDA’s Public Works Program (PDF) has been a key tool for the Kisatchie-Delta region to drive new opportunities and build infrastructure.
In the 1990’s, BRAC closures devastated many communities and economies, but in Alexandria, La., The England Authority was born to receive the closed England Air Force Base and transform its infrastructure to launch new use.
Over the years EDA invested nearly $7 million, and private industry and new commercial air activity more than replaced jobs lost due to the closure, making it a prime model for base re-use. In fact, recently, the region helped advocate the designation of an Opportunity Zone so it can continue this growth!
Similarly, when neighboring Pineville, La., was faced with sewer capacity limits that threatened the future of P&G - the largest manufacturer and employer in the region - the District, city of Pineville, The England Authority and others in the region banded together using multiple sources of funds (including EDA Public Works) to expand sewer capacity and pave the way for a new chemical cluster to emerge as a model for Louisiana development. Jobs were saved and new industry attracted, and a corridor of development and private investment followed, with another $47 million in private investment announced this year.
These results, and like ones across central Louisiana, have relied on collaboration amongst the public, private, and non-profit sectors to grow resiliency, competitiveness and success.
The Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning & Development District is proud of its history and looks forward to continuing to serve as an analyst, strategist, and catalyst in support of locally-based, regionally driven economic development.