Shared from the 8/4/2018 American Press eEdition

Governor praises SW La. economic activity

Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana are setting the standard for economic activity and growth in the state, Gov. John Bel Edwards told members of The Alliance for Positive Growth during their inaugural awards banquet this week.

“The leaders in this area, both past and present, have appreciated the natural geography of this region and harnessed the strength to cultivate a very strong economy,” Edwards said. “I applaud the alliance for being visionaries ... in shaping that growth.”

The alliance was established in 2017 in an effort to support sustained, progressive development in the region, said Matt Redd, executive committee president.

Since its inception, the alliance has worked with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to achieve a drainage task force; assisted families affected by Tropical Storm Harvey; cohosted a candidate forum and a presentation by the Water Institute of the Gulf; and created working committees for education, economic research, drainage, ordinance, permits and inspections.

Edwards thanked alliance members for “doing so much to help” with the growth in the area.

“Growth presents challenges, too,” he said. “All of a sudden you have some additional demand for public safety and infrastructure and on schools and if you don’t grow smartly, the challenges can really get in the way and stall that growth.”

Edwards said the region has harnessed the power of education to create industryleading training in refining, manufacturing, engineering, finance, administration, software development and health care.

“The most precious natural resource that God has entrusted in us are the people of this great state, and (the alliance is) making sure that we’re not leaving anyone behind,” he said.

“Calcasieu is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country and we know that Lake Charles and the entire region is really at the forefront of what’s going on in Louisiana.”

Positive Growth Awards were presented in the following categories:

Commercial — Crying Eagle Brewery.

Industrial — Cameron LNG’s Control Maintenance Building.

Institutional — Sowela Technical Community College’s Regional Training Center. Landscape — Ryan Street Streetscape. Mixed Used — Bell Savanne. Rehabilitation — The Noble Building. Subdivision — Charleston Pointe. Public servant (elected) — Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. Public servant (non-elected) — Myles Hebert of Cameron and Doug Burguières of Calcasieu. President’s award — Mary Kay Hopkins. Art contest — Madison Wyatt of Sulphur, a sophomore art major at McNeese State University.

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