POSTED: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 4:31pm
BATON ROUGE, La -- In its fourth annual competition, Business Facilities magazine named Louisiana 2010 "State of the Year." Louisiana's recent business climate reforms, business development wins in 2010, innovative incentive programs, economic growth strategy and world-class workforce training program, LED FastStart, all contributed to the state's selection.
Runners-up in the 2010 "State of the Year" contest included Texas, Tennessee, Utah and South Carolina. Previous winners of the Business Facilities "State of the Year" Award include Tennessee (2009), Michigan (2008) and Texas (2007).
"This is yet another example of the better Louisiana we are building for our children," said Gov. Bobby Jindal. "Since day one, we have made economic development our top priority by cutting taxes, revamping workforce training and reforming our ethics code. We've made incredible progress and fostered an economic environment that is creating opportunity for our people, but we will not rest until all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams right here at home. We must continue this strong economic momentum by opposing tax increases on Louisianians and reducing government spending so we can retain jobs and create thousands more for our people."
"The diversity and growth potential of Louisiana's top projects in both high-tech and traditional manufacturing, as well as healthy total investments, overall job creation and innovative incentives made Louisiana a clear winner of our annual 'State of the Year' Award," said Business Facilities Editor-in-chief Jack Rogers. "We were particularly impressed with the diversity of Louisiana's strategy for developing high-growth sectors, including digital media, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing and modular nuclear power plant components."
The Business Facilities editor noted that Louisiana "has emerged unbowed from a series of disasters that would have brought less-determined locations to their knees -- including a major hurricane, an oil spill and the national economic downturn -- and charted a course for the future that positions the state to be a national leader for years to come."
Business Facilities also singled out the recently announced Nucor project in St. James Parish as the Bronze Award winner in the magazine's "Economic Development Deal of the Year" awards contest. "This project will transform the economy of St. James Parish," the Business Facilities editor added.
"This terrific news is a reflection of Louisiana's continued economic progress during a difficult national economic period," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "This recognition is in large part the result of recent economic competitiveness improvements in Louisiana, including business tax cuts, governmental ethics reform, the creation of LED FastStart and our focus on business retention and expansion. Additionally, this improved ranking reflects the results of our recent business development successes, as well as our aggressive marketing efforts focused on closing the gap between the perception and reality of Louisiana's business climate. While we are pleased with our progress, we are not slowing down -- we are going to keep working hard to strengthen Louisiana's position as the emerging economic powerhouse of the South."
Since 2008, Louisiana has moved up significantly in nearly every major national ranking of business climate, business investment, economic development or economic performance. In 2010 alone, Louisiana has secured a variety of impressive national rankings and improvements in national rankings, for example:
• Pollina Corporate Real Estate gave Louisiana its first ever "Most Improved State" designation based on Louisiana's improved business climate ranking from 2008 to 2010. Louisiana ranked 20th on Pollina's 2010 business climate ranking, up from 27th in 2009 and 40th in 2008.
• Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana's business climate the ninth best in the nation, which was also Louisiana's first appearance in the top 10. Louisiana was also the most improved state in Site Selection's ranking of top business climates based on its recent jump to No. 9 in 2010 from No. 25 in 2009.
• Site Selection magazine ranked LED as the second best performing state economic development agency in the nation, appearing in the top 10 for the first time.
• Southern Business & Development magazine named Louisiana "Co-state of the Year" for the second year in a row, citing Louisiana's success in attracting more significant business development wins per capita than any other Southern state.
• Business Facilities magazine named LED FastStart the best state workforce training program in the U.S., and ranked Louisiana's business climate eighth best overall in the U.S.
The Business Facilities "State of the Year" Award evaluates each state's top five projects in terms of overall investment and job creation, and factors in the state's execution of its economic development strategy and the diversity and growth potential of its target industries.
Business Facilities magazine is a leading national publication reaching top site selection professionals, providing them with the critical information they need to make location choices for expansions, relocations or new facilities. Each month, Business Facilities covers the latest economic development initiatives, identifying new growth sectors and the locations that are successfully targeting these emerging industries.
To read the full Business Facilities "State of the Year" article, visit www.BusinessFacilities.com .