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(American Press Archives)

Editorial: Lake Charles in for a world of change

Last Modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 4:40 PM Southwest Louisiana is on the cusp of being a job-creation powerhouse.

The region is leading the nation in announced industrial projects with eight petrochemical companies confirming they are either coming to the area or expanding upon facilities already here.

In the Sunday edition of the American Press, we will offer readers an in-depth look at how each facility — Sasol, Juniper GTL, Cameron LNG, Sabine Pass LNG, Trunkline LNG, Lake Charles Clean Energy, G2X Energy and Magnolia LNG — is moving along through the permitting process, the jobs they are expected to create and the products created behind their walls. This is the first time a complete timeline has been given on the magnitude of this construction development.

The facilities are expected to drive huge capital investments into the region with the estimated $47 billion in projects likely to provide numerous opportunities for all types of businesses to provide goods and services to support this growth.

State and local leaders are giddy as they predict an economic extravaganza on the horizon for Southwest Louisiana.

According to Southern Business & Development, Louisiana has secured more significant business development projects than any other Southern state for the last four years.

“Over the next few years, Louisiana will be the epicenter of the industrial rebirth in the U.S,” Stephen Moret, the state’s economic secretary, wrote in a letter to the American Press editorial board.

The need for welders, pipefitters, electricians and other skilled laborers in Southwest Louisiana is showing a marked increase. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, this area will need 7,936 workers in 2014, 11,289 in 2015 and 5,800 in 2016. That’s 28,294 additional workers, which is more workers than New Orleans or Baton Rouge will require for the same time period, according to the commission.

“The business climate in Louisiana is electric with opportunities and positive momentum. Help wanted and job postings are everywhere and the trickle down projects due to low-cost natural gas alone will make the economy strong for the next three years,” CEO magazine said.

At peak activity, Sasol $16-$20 billion complexes will reportedly bring up to 7,000 construction jobs. Trunkline LNG’s $10 billion project will reportedly bring up to 5,000 construction jobs.

U.S. employers are confident in the state’s economy — and Southwest Louisiana in particular.

Pick up your copy of the American Press Sunday and see for yourself the unprecedented changes headed our way.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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