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Dec 21, 2006
OPINION: Governor yields economic development successes

Periodically, the press office shares editorials about Governor Blanco's work in various areas.

By: The Times (Shreveport)
Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So much has been written negatively about our Gov. Kathleen Blanco that it is unfortunate we do not occasionally hear something good. If the media is not careful, then it may not even look for the positive things that our governor is achieving for Louisiana.

For the first time since Gov. John McKeithen appointed William "Bill" T. Hackett as the Secretary of Economic Development, Blanco has also appointed a secretary whose profession has been economic development, Michael Olivier.

Existing industry is prospering under this leadership. As examples, Louisiana could have lost the Procter & Gamble expansion in Pineville. P&G found Louisiana best fit their expansion requirements, that then led to a new company, Plastipak locating a new packaging facility adjacent to P&G. Another example would be the Pilgrim Pride expansion in Natchitoches. These three activities for existing industry created over $180 million in new investments.

Concerning new industry, Union Tank Car considered Louisiana and then determined that Texas would be a better location. Blanco continued to be in contact with Union Tank Car officials and communicated that if you have problems, Louisiana can solve them. Today Union Tank Car is operating in Alexandria, employing 850 with an investment of $91,082,000.

These Louisiana successes do not just happen, leadership is required, and Blanco has set that leadership quality. Industrial expansions, whether it be Libby Glass, Steelscape or Calumet Lubricant in Shreveport, Shintech in Plaquemine, Martco in Allen Parish or Jeld-Wen in Winn Parish, created over $2.3 billion of growth. It is unique and fortunate that both the urban and rural areas of Louisiana are seeking new growth.

Blanco is making a positive impact for the short term, but more important, for the long-term growth of Louisiana. I have been involved in economic development for over 30 years, so for me, thank you Blanco for the excellent results you are achieving for all of Louisiana.

Rex Bryan lives in Shreveport.


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Louisiana's Fund for Louisiana's People    1-877-HELPLA1 (877-435-7521)

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