Natchitoches Parish is undertaking a venture to bring greater prosperity and more jobs to the area according to an announcement from the Natchitoches Parish Economic Development Advisory Commission.
The creation of a new Economic Development Organization is expected to result in more business expansion, retention, industrial development and economic activity for Natchitoches Parish and the various communities within Natchitoches Parish in the coming years according to its chair, Dr. Sue Weaver. Shirley Small-Rougeau is the vice-chair.
The Parish Government is led by its Parish President, Rick Nowlin and a five-member Parish Council representing five single-member districts across the Parish.
Nowlin is a former state representative who is in his first term in this office, under the Home Rule Charter which replaced the Police Jury form of government.
He recently charged an advisory committee to recommend a structure that would ensure cooperation among several entities involved in growth and prosperity in the Parish.
Nowlin acknowledged the many fine efforts made in the past toward economic development by various public and private entities. He said, “We will honor those initiatives by building on their successes. We will involve all people, places, and entities in the Parish in the new Economic Development Organization.”
In addition to Natchitoches Parish Government, other local partners may include the City of Natchitoches, Port Commission, Sheriff’s Office, Chamber of Commerce, Northwestern State University, and some existing organizations. Additional partners in the region may include the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (Shreveport), the Coordinating and Development Corporation (Northwest Louisiana), Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (Alexandria), England Airpark and Community (Alexandria), and various utility companies.
Weaver said some of these entities will be invited to collaborate in an alliance that can present a single, concerted effort in economic development. The alliance is expected to emphasize private investments as well as those of public partners.
An 11-member commission was established to study models of cooperative endeavors and make recommendations as to structures appropriate for the alliance.
Commission members include Don Barker, Georgia Hilton, Jim Kilcoyne, Michael Lewis, Valerie Minchew, Mike Newton, Mike Prudhomme, Shirley Small-Rougeau, Randy Stelly, Dr. Sue Weaver, and Mike Wolff, assisted by Frances Gilcrease.
This group meets twice monthly to hear expert testimony, analyze data, and prepare the report for a July submission. Future meetings are at 5:30 p.m. at the Alumni House of Northwestern State University on the following Mondays: , July 8 and July 22. The public can attend.
For more information, contact Weaver or Small-Rougeau or any commission member by calling the 352-2714.