OKLAHOMA CITY – From the economic development of Louisiana:
The Baton Rouge Water Campus was recognized as the Top Economic Development Initiative in Resilience, Recovery, and Mitigation and the Top Economic Development Project Nationwide at the 2022 Awards Ceremony of the International Economic Development Council on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
Gold and Best in Show accolades for the Water Campus were among five awards given to Louisiana, the most the state has received since becoming the only IEDC-accredited state economic development agency in the United States in 2018. The state’s rural revitalization program, including LED Initiative’s rural entrepreneurship, won a Silver Award for Equity and Inclusion Programs; and “Louisiana: Building for Tomorrow, Today,” LED’s cross-platform annual report, won gold on the industry website (LEDAnnualReport.com) and Bronze in the Annual Report categories.
“Congratulations to the LED team and the many state, regional and local partners who have worked so hard to address some of our state’s greatest challenges in a way that creates economic opportunity,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “Receiving this national recognition for Louisiana’s economic growth and diversification is truly an honor, especially considering the importance of our coastal restoration and rural revitalization efforts. Our commitment remains unwavering.
IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that supports the efforts of economic developers to promote the economic well-being and quality of life of their communities. Its members work for local, regional, state, provincial and federal government agencies, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and various other institutions. With over 4,800 members, it is the largest organization of its kind in the world, and its annual awards are considered among the highest honors in the profession.
“Communities need our profession now more than ever,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle. “This year’s winners exemplify the ingenuity, leadership and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. The recipients of the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards represent the best in economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day.
The Water Campus opened in 2015 and has gained international acclaim as a hub for the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors to collaborate and develop innovative solutions to challenges affecting coastal communities and areas. wet. The 1.6 million square foot campus is home to commercial, residential, government, research and higher education entities, including the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the nonprofit Water Institute of the Gulf and the LSU Center for River Studies.
“The Water Campus was built to bring together the best minds from academia, government, non-profit and private sectors to work collaboratively on some of our most pressing challenges,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO. from the Water Institute of the Gulf. . “Together, we are advancing innovative water and climate resilience solutions for Louisiana and exporting this knowledge to communities across the country and around the world. We are honored that IEDC has recognized this work with an award. as prestigious as we continue to deepen collaborations and grow our region’s water sector.
In February 2020, Governor Edwards signed an Executive Order creating the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization to assist and develop communities and attract new projects. With support from LED, the council released a strategic plan in 2021 addressing the concerns of rural Louisiana communities. LED launched its Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative, targeting small rural businesses across the state for a second stage of growth while prioritizing broadband expansion to bridge the digital divide faced by many businesses, schools, farms, health care providers and others in rural parishes.
“Our LED team is dedicated to creating economic opportunity for communities throughout Louisiana,” said LED Secretary Don Pierson. “Our success represents the productive partnership we share with the Louisiana business community, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, institutions of higher education, elected officials and others. Moreover, this recognition of our hard work is particularly gratifying, as IEDC represents the best of economic development experiences and practices, from the broadest international perspective to the local level.
Many other Louisiana local, parish, and regional economic development organizations have been honored by IEDC, including Greater New Orleans, Inc., which was named Economic Development Organization of the Year for communities with more than 500 000 inhabitants.