NEWS: Delta Regional Authority, Gov. Edwards Announce Major Economic Investments in Louisiana

September 13, 2016

Seven new investments leverage more than $72 million in new economic development

BATON ROUGE — The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and Governor John Bel Edwards, in partnership with local officials, announced a combined investment of more than $72 million in increased economic development, workforce training and infrastructure improvements throughout Louisiana's Delta Region.

"Families and communities across Louisiana are hurting, many having lost everything in these troubled waters," said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. "Our hearts and prayers go out to them, but let us also show our love and support with action. These new investments do just that – investing in the state's workforce, infrastructure, and economy. Together with Governor Edwards and our local partners, the DRA is committed to helping Louisiana rebuild and come back stronger than ever."

"This investment comes at a critical time for our state," said Gov. Edwards. "These resources will help create and retain hundreds of jobs, make basic and much needed infrastructure repairs to provide safe and clean drinking water and sewer services to thousands of households, and ultimately brighten the economic future for some of the most vulnerable communities in our state. This is one of the best examples of how public-private partnerships can be used to improve the lives of our people, and I am excited to partner with DRA to bring this assistance to the people of Louisiana." 

The seven new investments, including workforce training and infrastructure improvements that support economic development, leverage $2.2 million in DRA resources into $72 million in total public and private investment for Louisiana’s Delta communities, their residents, and their economies.  The seven projects include the following:

  1. GO-Biz GROW-Biz: The KD GO-Biz GROW-Biz program will provide multi-stage small business development, education and training and cultivation and capacity building of the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. The DRA investment is $142,103 and the leveraged public-private investment is $17,400.
  2. Village of Grosse Tete Sewer Pond Rehab: On September 23, 2015, The Village of Grosse Tete STP received an inspection from the Louisiana DEQ finding that the curtain divider for the oxidation pond was damaged and needed to be replaced immediately. This project will provide this replacement. The DRA investment is $174,360 and the leveraged public investment is $20,847.
  3. Boyce Sewer Capacity for Industry: The project will upgrade the sewer system to support private sector development of approximately $30 million from alternative biofuels manufacturer Sundrop Fuels for a R&D facility. The DRA investment is $150,000 and the leveraged public investment is $30,029,665.
  4. JAG-LA Expansion Project: The Louisiana Workforce Commission will expand the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program in Louisiana from 69 programs to 101, with an emphasis on assisting the State's disabled students. The DRA Investment is $250,000.
  5. Jonesboro Water Well: The south side of Jonesboro has experienced substantial growth which has resulted in a severe shortage of water. This project will construct additional water well to alleviate emergency issues. The DRA investment is $250,000 and the leveraged public investment is $12,500.
  6. Paincourtville Booster Pump Station: The project will upgrade the Paincourtville Booster Pump Station by adding two new pumps and associated electrical work. The DRA investment is $273,670 and the leveraged public investment is $228,805.
  7. City of Monroe DRA Water Improvements CenturyLink Village: The project will provide improvements to Century Village & CenturyLink Corporate Headquarters, correcting current deficiencies in the water distribution system and creating 430 jobs. The DRA investment is $1,014,000 and the leveraged public-private investment is $32,967,124.

"These grants will help our communities have access to clean water, expand development projects and grow jobs. For example—Monroe will receive more than $1 million to correct deficiencies in their water distribution system and Boyce will receive more than $100,000 to update their sewer system. These projects are good for Louisianans health and our economy,” said U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy.

U.S. Representative Charles Boustany said, “The JAG program plays a major role in strengthening opportunities for Louisiana’s at-risk youth. Our state has seen a steady increase in high school graduation rates over the past several years, thanks in part to programs like JAG that are helping students reach their goals despite facing serious obstacles. The announcement of new grant funding for JAG-Louisiana will enable the program to reach a larger audience of students in need and help to grow our state’s workforce.”‎

"These projects represent more than $1.5 million in investments in northern and central Louisiana, which I am proud to represent,” said U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham. “With these projects, the DRA continues to demonstrate the benefits of a healthy federal-state partnership, and I appreciate the DRA’s steadfast focus on helping our people and improving our communities."

"We are excited about this major project for our city," said Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo.  "The City of Monroe is providing a $692,659 match for the water system expansion portion. Century Village will spur job growth, housing development and multiple quality of life enhancements. The City of Monroe is proud to partner with Governor John Bel Edwards, Delta Regional Authority, Louisiana Economic Development, CenturyLink, IBM and the Century Village project developer for this awesome project." 

The investments are primarily made through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship, and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. DRA coordinates directly with Louisiana's seven planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA's SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged $138 million in federal resources into more than $2.9 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers and infrastructure development projects. These investments have helped create or retain more than 26,000 jobs since the DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov.

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Media Contact: John Collins 
press@dra.gov