REGIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN
The South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) has released its 2023-2025 Strategic Action Plan outlining the immediate steps the region must take to position itself to implement long-term strategies for success over the next three to five years.
Louisiana’s Bayou Region – representing the parishes of Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, and Terrebonne – is home to resilient, devoted residents who have weathered many storms and economic downturns and remained committed to the region and its success.
Despite the Bayou Region’s economic and workforce strengths, the area was not immune to the impacts of COVID-19 or Hurricane Ida, the seventh-costliest storm in U.S. history that left behind $95 billion in economic damages. These disruptions highlighted the region’s vulnerability and demonstrated the need to diversify the area’s economy and make investments in more resilient infrastructure. In response, the South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) recognized this opportunity to initiate a plan for revitalizing the region’s economy and to chart a new path toward a more prosperous, resilient future.
SLEC initiated this strategic planning process to clearly identify and prioritize immediate needs and develop a blueprint with initiatives and short-term action steps that reposition the organization around this changed environment. SLEC also defined a longer-term plan that guides how the organization should proactively drive the broad strategy related to economic development in the region over the next three to five years in areas such as mutually beneficial affiliates and partnerships, geographic footprint, programs and services, board structure and governance, funding, staffing, and succession planning.
SLEC’s process for developing these two plans included the following components:
- In-depth research, review, and analysis of relevant data, including U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data, Emsi labor market and industry-specific data, peer economies, economic development trends, and other relevant state or federal sources for economic growth or workforce development
- Analysis of the economic performance of peer organizations and economies with similar target industries and similar experiences with natural or other disasters to understand how those organizations and geographies may have been impacted by comparable macro-economic conditions that impede economic growth
- Distribution and analysis of a survey to regional employers, economic development partners, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders that focused on understanding the current economic landscape across the four-parish region and identified what stakeholders need the most from SLEC to support recovery, sustainability, and growth
- Utilization of survey feedback and research to inform and facilitate in-depth interviews and focus groups to better understand what business and industry, and specific sectors of each, need from a regional economic development organization both for immediate recovery and long-term planning
- Review of SLEC’s organizational structure, programs, services, workforce, funding sources, and governance to identify areas for improvement, additional investment, and to best align with the realized needs of regional stakeholders today and well into the future
In each of these areas of focus, SLEC sought to better understand and answer fundamental questions related to its near-term and long-term role in advancing economic development priorities in the Bayou Region. SLEC’s planning process was guided by Emergent Method, a Louisiana-based management consulting firm with an extensive background in economic development and strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and data and analysis, in addition to substantial experience working within the Bayou Region. The firm enabled transparent conversations, captured objective perspectives and insights, and deployed best practices related to data-driven, stakeholder-informed decision making that have bolstered this plan and added clarity to anticipated future opportunities for both SLEC and the Bayou Region’s economy.By successfully implementing these initiatives, SLEC and its robust network of partners can establish the Bayou Region as a thriving hub for innovation, growth, and prosperity.
Ensuring a successful implementation of this plan will align with public participation and transparency. This is a final plan ready for implementation; however, SLEC continues to welcome public comments and questions about the outlined content and action steps.
As the implementation of this plan begins, SLEC will be present at public meetings across the Bayou Region. Any public body or organization wishing to have SLEC present the plan may make a request through the link below.
This plan is made possible by Entergy.