News and Events

Louisiana Named Top 10 Business State For Eighth Consecutive Year

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Area Development magazine ranks Louisiana No. 7 among business-friendly states BATON ROUGE, La. —  Area Development ranked Louisiana No. 7 in the magazine’s annual Top States for Doing Business report, with the state earning a Top 10 position for the eighth consecutive year. Area Developmentsurveys the nation’s top site selection consultants to produce the annual report. Louisiana, which ranked No. 5 in 2016 and 2017, also placed No. 3 in the nation for Leading Workforce Development programs, and No. 6 in three other categories: Favorable General Regulatory Environment; Business Incentive Programs; and Cooperative and Responsive State Government. “The consistent strength of Louisiana’s business climate...
Gateway revival: Economic development districts aim to revitalize St. Landry Parish

Friday, October 26, 2018

or years, St. Landry Parish has struggled economically. Downtown Opelousas, one of the state's oldest towns, has rows of abandoned and rundown buildings along what were once bustling thoroughfares. However, in recent years, local government and business groups have begun setting up economic development districts in key locations in the parish to fix problems and make these areas attractive so businesses and residents are more likely to move into them. Grand Coteau's Economic Development District was established in November 2015 with a 2-cent sales tax. It encompasses a large part of Grand Coteau that runs east of Interstate 49 and a few...
Article Photo
State tourism campaign great fit for St. Landry

Sunday, September 02, 2018

There is perhaps no place in Louisiana in which the new Louisiana tourism campaign to “Feed Your Soul” is more appropriate than in St. Landry Parish. Lt. Gov, Billy Nungesser, Louisiana's top tourism official, unveiled the first television ads in a new advertising campaign at the state's annual travel summit on August 23. The lieutenant governor's office says the TV spots highlight zydeco music, swamp tours, seafood, drinks and dancing, among other experiences. One of the filming locations was Lakeview Park in Eunice. It featured local people dancing to the music of Geno Delafosse and French Rockin’ Boogie. St. Landry Parish tourism director...
Article Photo
Distinctive landmark celebrates St. Landry musical history

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

When the St. Landry Parish community of Sunset unveiled a giant rubboard May 22, it celebrated a distinctive form of music that was born in south Louisiana and an instrument described as “one of only four true musical instruments that are original to the United States.” But the wearable frottoir, as the rubboard is called in Louisiana French, might never have been created except for a chance encounter in 1946 between Clifton Chenier, the Creole musician who became known as the king of zydeco, and Willie Landry, a Cajun master metal fabricator who was then working at the Texaco oil refinery...
Article Photo
Drama, perseverance bring LSU-E another title

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

“Staying the course” has been a key to Willis’s winning coaching philosophy over the years. “I teach my players that the game isn’t over until the last out,” he said in an interview some time ago. “There is no time limit in baseball.” A dramatic home run propelled the LSU-Eunice Bengals to a sixth national baseball championship, but tradition, perseverance and a winning attitude helped set up the record-breaking win. The final victory in the NJCAA World Series over the Cobras from Parkland College, a community college in Champaign, Illinois, marked the fourth consecutive game in which the Bengals had to come...
Article Photo
Tank car donation aid to St. Landry first responders

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

"We try to educate drivers and make sure they know that when you come to a railroad crossing if the lights are flashing or if the gate arms are coming down just stop and wait and allow the train to pass by and then you will be able to stop safely and you won’t have any problems" A tank car donated by the Union Pacific Railroad to the St. Landry Parish Public Safety Training Center will give first responders potentially life-saving experience when they are called upon to deal with a railroad emergency. So says parish president Bill Fontenot, who noted that...
Article Photo
St. Landry is medical center for a growing region

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA president and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.” The opening by Opelousas General Health System of a comprehensive cancer center, at its south campus on I-49 is yet another indicator of how St. Landry Parish’s increasingly sophisticated facilities have made the parish the medical center for a growing region. At the same time, Mercy Regional Medical Center and...
Article Photo
St. Landry’s Savoie’s wins prestigious Lantern Award

Thursday, July 26, 2018

“No matter how large we grow, we’ll always be a family company,” he said. “She was a pioneer in the food industry, investing in new technologies and facilities, while still making time to treat her employees like family. That balance between innovation and preserving heritage has been the key to the success of Savoie’s foods.”       Savoie’s Sausage & Food Products has been named a 2018 winner of a Lantern Award, given to select businesses by Louisiana Economic Development for “excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to their communities.” Over some 60 years, the company has grown from a mom-and-pop grocery store to...
Article Photo
St. Landry leader in regional planning efforts

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

“Acadiana has never done this kind of planning before,” Rodier said. “It’s a big step forward.” Roads and rivers do not stop at parish lines but planning for them quite often has. As a result, projects in one place have sometimes created unintended bottlenecks of water or traffic in St. Landry and neighboring parishes, and usually meant that taxpayers are not seeing the best use of infrastructure dollars. That’s why St. Landry government and economic development leaders are enthusiastic about regional efforts that are gaining momentum to coordinate and promote areawide drainage and traffic projects. Parish President Bill Fontenot, who is a licensed...
Article Photo
Church groundbreaking opens St. Landry ‘Gateway’

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Photo by Freddie Herpin. Opelousas Daily World “The whole area where the church will be is ready to take off with more construction over the next year,” he said. “You will see new construction and development in this area faster than anyone could have expected.” Groundbreaking July 11 for the 43,000-square-foot, $12 million Our Savior’s Church on I-49 at Harry Guilbeau Road is just the beginning of a flurry of activity in the recently created Central St. Landry Economic Development District, according to church and economic development officials. Pastor Eugene Reiszner said the church, to be built by Lemoine Construction, is the centerpiece...
Article Photo
Study beginning of St. Landry public school plan

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

“The overarching goal in every area is to make sure that the system as a whole and each school can give every student the best education possible,” said St. Landry economic development director Bill Rodier. As students head back to the classroom for the 2018-19 school year, experts are taking a comprehensive look at the St. Landry school system as an important first step in finding ways to give them everything they need. Several organizations that collaborate in St. Landry economic development are paying three-fourths of the cost of studies by Gibson Consultants, an Austin-based firm that specializes in evaluating school systems....
Article Photo
St. Landry part of initiative toward continuing education

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Some sort of education beyond high school will soon be essential for anyone looking for a good job, and the prospects for the growth of the south Louisiana economy will be tied directly to the number of people who get that education. That’s the finding of several studies looking at the region, and the reason for an ambitious program called “55 by 25” to help and encourage residents of Acadiana to seek at least an associate degree from a two-year college or certification of mastery in a skilled trade. The program is spearheaded by One Acadiana, an economic development agency based in...
Article Photo

Thursday, April 05, 2018

As spring turns the St. Landry Parish landscape from dull winter browns to brilliant greens, visitors come to the area to see gorgeous azaleas and flowering trees in bloom, the awakening of the earth in one of the prettiest places around, and, more and more of them, to take advantage of birdwatching opportunities that can be matched only by a handful of other places. All year long, but especially during migratory periods in the spring and fall, St. Landry is one of the best places in the nation to look for birds. even at our parish landfill. Some 240 species have...
Article Photo
Director: Good cause for optimism in St. Landry Parish

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“Many people don’t realize this, but there is a major railway spur inside Port Barre that can be really beneficial for economic improvement,” he said. The Port of Krotz Springs “is continuing to experience a lot of economic growth” and “the whole area is in transformation.” As Spring is bursting out all over, so are good signs for St. Landry Parish business and consumers.  New businesses are looking the parish over, old ones are expanding into new facilities, a new development district is stirring substantial interest, and there are signs that the oil and gas industry—a bedrock of the Acadiana economy—is...
Article Photo
Highway cleanup first step for Central St. Landry district

Sunday, March 04, 2018

“These projects will make us even more attractive to businesses interested in locating along Louisiana’s major north-south highway and will help bring new customers and clients to those who are already here,” Rodier said. A dozen light poles that have been knocked down over the years have been removed as the first step toward better maintenance of the I-49 median in Opelousas. The project is the first step in a plan by the Central St. Landry Economic Development District to make the area more attractive to businesses. “This is a significant initial step with the Central St Landry EDD in improving the...
Article Photo
Opportunity Zone new tool for St. Landry towns

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

“Building strong communities is vital to maintaining economic growth across the parish.” Rodier said. “This is particularly important in the seat of parish government, and especially in Opelousas, which is one of the oldest communities in the state with historic and cultural roots important to all of south Louisiana, and in Eunice, one of the gateway communities of the parish.” Opelousas and Eunice have been nominated by Gov. John Bel Edwards for inclusion in a new program that could bring much-needed investment capital into the St. Landry Parish communities. The federal Opportunity Zone program was created in 2017 to offer tax advantages...
Article Photo
St. Landry career ed teachers cited for teaching life skills

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

“Her greatest accomplishments rest in the success of her students,” according to her nominating materials. “She works  … to teach students the value of understanding the daily skills necessary for life.”  Each of the teachers selected for the 2018 Career and Technical Education Educator awards were cited for their teaching skills inside the classroom, but perhaps more importantly for the lessons their students will carry with them well after their formal education is completed. Winners of this year’s awards were Erica LaFountaine Meche of Sunset Middle School, Gwendolyn Villery of Opelousas High School, and David Reed of Northwest High School. The awards are...
Parish launches campaign to tell it's 'good' stories

Monday, August 31, 2015

What you're reading now isn't the only place to find good news. Representatives of business, civic, nonprofit, educational and religious institutions in St. Landry Parish have banded together to tell their upbeat stories in a coordinated branding campaign called "We're Moving Forward." "We're going to start telling the good stories about St. Landry Parish," Bill Rodier, director of St. Landry Economic Development, proclaimed during a Thursday morning open house and reception. Click here to read the full artcile »  
St. Landry Economic Development Focus on Positives

Monday, August 31, 2015

St. Landry Parish political and business leaders need to forget the days of lost economic opportunities and focus on promoting the area’s attributes, parish economic director Bill Rodier said Thursday. Speaking at a news conference at the St. Landry Economic Industrial Development District office, Rodier announced the launch of a combined effort of parish officials to promote what he said are the “good things” happening in St. Landry. Click here to read the full artcile »
Acadiana Businesses awarded tax incentives

Friday, May 15, 2015

Businesses in nine Acadiana parishes were granted more than $30 million in state tax incentives in 2013 by Louisiana Economic Development, much of them in the form of local property tax exemptions. Click here to read the full artcile »
Article Photo
St. Landry celebrates American Job Center opening

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

“People who are in need of jobs, from building a resume to interviewing and securing a job, now have one place to appreciate the quality of services they are in need of,” according to Brenda Hubbard-Thomas, executive director of the Acadiana Region of Local Workforce Development Area 40.  A newly opened “one-stop” workforce office in Opelousas will serve as a model for the rest of the state in the best way to help to people find and keep a good job and as an important tool for employers who need trained, skilled workers.    In the view of St. Landry Parish President, Bill...
Article Photo
LEDA Job Fair 2015

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Please see link below for further information. Click here to read the full artcile »  
Article Photo
Young professionals group takes shape

Thursday, April 23, 2015

St. Landry Parish Economic Development (SLED) wants to win over that demographic group, too. Click here to read the full artcile »
Waffle House: Perfect Coffee and Perfect Job

Monday, March 02, 2015

As it relates to economic development, Waffle House to create in excess of 50 direct jobs within the City of Opelousas, La, increasing commerce and value to the city, resulting in positive outlook for future retail growth. Click here to read the full artcile »
Article Photo
Economic Development seeks to expand rail access

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The arrival of the railroad 120 years ago transformed St. Landry Parish’s economy. Railroads — or at least more railroad spurs —could play an important part in its economic rebirth. Parish Economic Development Director Bill Rodier told his board Tuesday that he is working with four clients interested in locating new businesses in the Opelousas Industrial Park in the coming year, but only if he can help them acquire rail access. Click here to read the full artcile »
Article Photo
Economic development nominates its 2015 leadership

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The vote won’t happen until December, but it appears the St. Landry Economic Development board will have the same leadership next year as this. Tuesday, the nominating committee issued a unanimous report recommending Andy Dakin to serve as board chairman, Anthony Baltakis as vice-chairman, Roma Dominick as secretary and Tina Vidrine as treasurer. Click here to read the full artcile »
Article Photo
St. Landry Parish Economic Development District seeks Board Members

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Now that the Opelousas city and St. Landry Parish councils have approved an economic development district for the Harry Guilbeau Road area, the next step will be to name a board to oversee the project. St. Landry Economic Development Director Bill Rodier, who has helped shepherd the project for years, said that should happen later this year or early next year. Click here to read the full artcile »
Corporation considers Opelousas

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

St. Landry Economic Development has voted to offer a $125,000 incentive in the hopes of attracting a major new corporate headquarters to the parish. “This would almost be a game changer,” said SLED Executive Director Bill Rodier. He argued that “Project Shield” could be as big an economic plum for the parish as the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Click here to read the full artcile »
Article Photo
Noble Plastics, Inc Business Expansion

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

St. Landry Parish Economic Development (SLED) is proud to announce the expansion of Noble Plastics Inc. Demonstrating perpetual growth since its inception in 2000. Noble Plastics Inc., relocation into the former Yoo-Hoo facility is seen as the next phase in the growing demand of its services. This expansion is great news for St. Landry Parish and shows that our economy is strong, multifaceted and growing. We are proud of Noble Plastics
Unanimously Moving Forward

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

With a unanimous vote the City of Opelousas voted to recommend the creation of the "Harry Guilbeau Area Economic Development District." As a result, the vision for Crowne Parc Community is within our reach. For complete details surrounding Tuesday's meeting please see link below. Click here to read the full artcile »