Ascension Parish Prepares for additional economic growth

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - In the summer of 2012 Canadian based company Methanex announced a $550 million plant slated for location in Geismar. In November of 2012, CF Industries in Donaldsonville announced a $2 billion investment into its local operations. The two serve as examples of major economic growth tabbed for Ascension Parish.

"We feel like Ascension Parish is the best place to be in the capital area region. I think it's supported by the numbers," said Parish Council Chairman Chris Loar.

Loar is excited about what the future holds for his area and that means making plans for another surge of industrial and residential expansion.

"We're looking at everything from infrastructure, how we expand roads and sewers out to areas where growth will be and servicing obviously plants and their expansions to subdivision regulations," said Loar. "We just tightened those up last week and just trying to figure out all the different areas it's going to impact our community."

Economist and business expert Loren Scott told a packed house on Wednesday Louisiana is in the midst of an economic boon while other states and regions are still dealing with effects from the recession.

"We have over $30 billion in capital investments going on in our area. That's a huge number. Last year we were talking about how big 4 billion was. We have 30 billion plus going in," said Scott.

That trend Scott says is part of a push that is expected to bring 70,000 jobs to the state over the next two years but over 25 percent of those jobs will be in the Metro Baton Rouge, south of the I-10 corridor and that has local leaders like Loar making sure they will be ready.

"We're partnering with the school system and community college board and new president that are coming in on how we can address their needs. Work force development is going to be a major challenge not only for Ascension but all across the region," added Loar.

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