Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
Twelve Louisiana towns will have its own team of community and economic development professionals to advise on ways to attract and expand business.
In 2008, Louisiana was ranked #22 in Site Selection magazine's Top State Business Climate Rankings, a huge jump from being unranked in 2007. To help strengthen municipalities' ability to attract more business, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) launched an online portal to help communities assess and improve their economic competitiveness. The site's tools (like one illustrated at left) provide towns with information and guidance on completing a community assessment, creating a strategic plan, providing leadership development, and implementing a marketing plan. This month, 12 towns will not only have the tools, but also the teams to guide them through the process. The Louisiana Development Ready Communities pilot will provide an LED representative, a community development rep from a local utility, and other economic development professionals as needed to assist these towns in completing the four-part process. In addition, each town will have a site-selection consultant assess the towns and provide two-to-three-page visit summaries and recommendations for improvement. The pilot, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, will run for six months. If the 12 towns complete the process in that time, the program could expand to the rest of the state in late 2010 or 2011.