To the right, Sasol’s kerosene tanks face Old Spanish Trail in Westlake. The tanks can hold up to one to one-and-a-half barge loads of kerosene. (Frank DiCesare / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 07, 2014 11:08 AM
Area residents have been hearing repeated reports of an economic boom coming to Southwest Louisiana, with rosy predictions that this part of the state will benefit from nearly $65 billion in capital investments.
David Conner, vice president of economic development and international commerce with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said the capital investment figures and job predictions are compiled from several sources.
The tally of jobs en route to the region began in 2012 with announcements from companies, he said. The figures for permanent direct jobs are reported by the companies. Numbers for indirect and induced permanent jobs are calculated by using multipliers specific to a particular industry, Conner said.
In the long run, he said, nearly 19,000 permanent jobs will stay in Southwest Louisiana. “That’s the most important number,” he said. Conner expects the construction jobs to peak at 16,000-18,0000 between 2016 and 2018.
He said the bulk of the figures are related to mega energy and natural gas projects.
“The huge finds of natural gas in this country was the catalyst for all of this,” he said. “We’re sitting here in Southwest Louisiana with the infrastructure. What we’re seeing is projects and numbers and announcements that are unsurpassed by any other place in the country at this time.”
The attraction of Southwest Louisiana stems from existing pipelines, rail systems, a deep-water port, highway systems and skilled workforce.
“This makes a commerce-friendly atmosphere for these kinds of industries,” he said. “You add to that the strength of the Louisiana incentive packages — this is an attractive place to make their selection.”
In year’s past, projects that were $100 million made headlines. Before 2011, only one project in the region exceeded $1 billion — Leucadia. Now, there are more than eight projects over $1 billion that make up about $62 billion of the $65 billion that is being reported.
“It’s unprecedented,” Conner said. “Those types of projects are still happening in that (million-dollar) capital expense range, but they are kind of getting lost in the shuffle of these mega projects that are over a billion dollars.”
Posted By: Carl Louviere - Internet Room and Training Center On: 4/8/2014
Why did you not cover the statements presented to Sowela when John White came to Lake Charles to define one of our major problems in our demand for jobs: "The demand for jobs in overwhelming, but these are not the jobs of our grandfathers and grandmothers; these are technical, sophisticated jobs. So the question that I see in front of us is how equipped are our students, and if they are not, we are missing an enormous opportunity for them and our State."...end of quote. As I conveyed to Mr. White, these multi - billion dollar companies will not wait for Lake Charles to catch up, so to speak. Computer skills must be pushed in the city more than ever before. Texas is not very far away and when you have deep pockets you will recruit them from the closest venue.
My Training Center has been promoting that for years. The time has come. Lake Charles has never seen a better opportunity...ever.