Delta Regional Authority Invests $2.6 Million to Strengthen Louisiana’s Economy, Infrastructure

October 17, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. – Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Chairman Chris Caldwell and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) today announced that DRA will invest $2.6 million to enhance workforce training, help create and retain jobs and improve water and sewer service for rural families. DRA’s investments, along with other public and private partners, will bring a total of $34.6 million in new investments to Louisiana.

“Our investments will increase the productivity and economic competitiveness of communities across Louisiana,” Caldwell said. “DRA is investing in critical infrastructure improvements that will enhance economic development efforts and bring new jobs to the state.”

Summary of DRA’s statewide investments:

  • 15 Projects
  • DRA investments: $2,655,528
  • Total investments: $34,633,084
  • Families affected: 11,580
  • Workers trained: 5,145
  • Jobs created: 57
  • Jobs retained: 147

“This $2.6 million in strategic investments from the DRA, will bring $34.6 million to support infrastructure, healthcare and workforce in Louisiana, which is especially important for the continued development of our rural communities” said Gov. Edwards, D-LA. “This is critical to moving our state and our people forward, and I am thankful to everyone involved for their commitment to helping Louisiana’s most distressed communities.”

Louisiana’s congressional delegation issued the following statements:

“Investing in our local infrastructure strengthens our communities and improves the lives of Louisiana families,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy, (R-LA). “I appreciate the Delta Regional Authority for working with us to fund these important projects.”

“These grants play a vital role in improving dozens of communities across our state like Grambling, Vidalia and Gramercy,” said U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, (R-LA).  “These grants will help with everything from hospital improvements to flood control.  I’d like to thank the Delta Regional Authority for helping secure these funds for Louisiana.”

“These investments in workforce development and local infrastructure are much-needed and serve as economic drivers for our communities,” said U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, (LA-03). “The Gueydan levee went unrepaired for more than a year after 2016’s historic rain event, putting homes and businesses at risk. This funding from the Delta Regional Authority will build on our efforts to repair the levee after Hurricane Harvey and mitigate the risk of future flooding. Properly maintaining water management infrastructure is a top priority for my office.”

"Many of our communities in Louisiana are in desperate need of infrastructure updates, and this grant will provide vital funding to help ensure those needs are met,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, (LA-04). “I am particularly happy to see Ville Platte receive over half a million dollars to enhance economic development in the area that will, in turn, help attract new companies and new jobs. The Louisiana delegation has worked tirelessly to impress upon our colleagues the importance of investment in our state. This is welcome news from the DRA, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in Congress to build upon the growth these grants will provide.”

“This is terrific news for cities and towns throughout my district and Louisiana. From infrastructure improvements to workforce development and new jobs, this funding will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of families in communities across our state,” said Dr. Ralph Abraham, (LA-05). “I appreciate the DRA for awarding these funds, and I look forward to continuing to work with all of our federal partners for more investments in the future.”

“With our growing economy, rising wages and increasing work opportunities, the Delta Regional Authority is making some important investments — helping to train Baton Rouge area job seekers for new opportunities for the work that is available now in growing industries,” said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, (LA-06).  “This effort will help connect the dots between those seeking jobs and jobs available.  Second, the infrastructure investment in LaPlace will help to provide matching funds for greater wastewater capacity and the protection of our environment.”   

The investments are made through DRA’s States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship projects.

Louisiana economic development projects:

  1. CITY OF MONROE: New manufacturing businessDRA Investment: $300,000. Total Investment: $1.7 million. DRA funds will be used to build an access road to serve the Millhaven Industrial Park and a new manufacturing facility that will create 40 jobs. The 1.25 million-square-foot plant will manufacture and distribute cartons. The road also will serve the entire industrial park
  2. TOWN OF SIBLEY: Wastewater treatment plant improvements. DRA Investment: $250,000. Total Investment: $617,000. Sibley will use DRA funds to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to better serve 558 families living in the Webster Parish town. The emergency investment will deliver a more efficient and effective system and prevent wastewater from backing up, alleviating health and safety risks for residents.
  3. TOWN OF GUEYDAN: Flood protection. DRA Investment: $250,000. Total Investment: $407,000. This Vermilion Parish town will use DRA funds to reinforce and upgrade a levee that protects the 55-acre Simon Addition Subdivision from flooding. About six jobs will be retained with the project.
  4. TOWN OF VIDALIA: New manufacturing business. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $20.3 million. An international manufacturing business will locate its first facility in the United States in this Concordia Parish town. DRA funds will be used to extend natural gas and broadband connectivity lines to serve the 25-acre site at the Vidalia Industrial Park & Port Complex. The manufacturer will produce spherical graphite used in lithium batteries in electric vehicles. About five new jobs will be created along with training for 20 workers.
  5. CITY OF HAHNVILLE. Flood protection. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $5.1 million. St. Charles Parish will use DRA funds to construct the Paradis Canal Gate, which will provide flood protection for St. Charles, Lafourche, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Ascension and Assumption parishes. The areas are now susceptible to flooding during heavy rains or high tides. Residential, commercial and heavy industry properties that are now unprotected from flooding are valued at $12.5 billion.
  6. CITY OF GRAMBLING. Wastewater treatment improvements. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $1.2 million. The city will use DRA funds to upgrade its existing treatment plant, which serves residents, businesses and Grambling State University. About 1,157 families will see their lives improved with system upgrades.
  7. CITY OF VILLE PLATTE. Enhancing economic development. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $526,565. The Evangeline Parish Police Jury will use DRA funding to enhance economic development opportunities by improving a rail spur serving the Parish Industrial Park. The spur has been inoperable for two years, and refurbishing it will allow the parish to attract large national and international companies to the industrial park. The project will create one new job and help retain 85 jobs.
  8. CITY OF BATON ROUGE. Workforce development and training. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $200,000. The Louisiana Workforce Commission will use DRA funds for a collaborative program that includes school districts, colleges and employers. The effort will train 5,000 individuals, including providing employment-related education, to help them secure a quality job and develop a meaningful career.
  9. TOWN OF JENA. Improved healthcare services. DRA Investment: $180,528. Total Investment: $319,560. LaSalle General Hospital will use DRA funds to renovate the emergency room and admitting area at the hospital, which has grown into a regional facility that provides new services such as home health, therapies, fitness, senior behavioral health and family medicine. The effort will create one new job and retain six others.
  10. CITY OF MONROE. Improve healthcare services. DRA Investment: $150,000. Total Investment: $356,565. St. Francis Medical Center will use DRA funds to build a new helipad to improve emergency response times and better position the facility to respond during health crises. The helipad, which will be built adjacent to the emergency department, will improve the time it takes for patients to receive care and decrease health risks during emergencies.
  11. TOWN OF LAKE PROVIDENCE. Sewer treatment improvements. DRA Investment: $135,000. Total Investment: $1.1 million. Lake Providence will use DRA funds to upgrade its South Pond Sewer Treatment facility. The 50-year-old sewer ponds are deteriorating and a collapse would expose the town to unsafe and unsanitary conditions. About 1,556 families will receive improved service with the upgrade.
  12. TOWN OF BALL. Sewer system improvements. DRA Investment: $100,000. Total Investment: $1.4 million. Ball will use DRA funds to extend new sewer lines to 12 existing homes and create an access point for another 90 new homes that will be constructed in the Rapides Parish community. About 1,508 families will gain better service.
  13. CITY OF LaPLACE. Wastewater system improvements. DRA Investment: $100,000. Total Investment: $1 million. LaPlace will use DRA funds to upgrade its main wastewater pump station and eliminate sewer overflows. Heavy rainfall causes wastewater overflows that endanger the health and safety of residents. About 6,801 families will realize safer and healthier living conditions with the improvements.
  14. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. Enhancing business development. DRA Investment: $100,000. Total Investment: $247,494. The New Orleans BioInnovation Center will use DRA funds to purchase new equipment that will be offered to entrepreneurs and researchers in shared-use laboratories in the facility. By sharing the equipment, the startup companies can use their funds to create jobs and grow their businesses. The initiative will help create 10 new jobs and retain 50 others.
  15. CITY OF MONROE. Workforce development and training. DRA Investment: $90,000. Total Investment: $135,530. The University of Louisiana at Monroe will use DRA funds to train 125 individuals on unmanned aerial systems (UAS). In this “train the trainer” project, the individuals trained will spread across the community to train companies in northeast Louisiana how to use UAS in their operations. Farmers, firefighters, law enforcement officials, public utility companies and insurance companies all could benefit from the use of UAS, which uses global positioning systems (GPS) and drones to improve operations.

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. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 55,000 jobs, train nearly 45,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 238,000 residents and businesses. Learn more at dra.gov.

Contact: Andrew Moreau
202-744-3558
amoreau@dra.gov