With 2020 drawing to a close in a matter of weeks, we know we will long remember this tumultuous year. Our challenges have been many, and they are not over yet, but there are encouraging signs as we look ahead to what may be in store for Louisiana in 2021.
The word “unprecedented” got a lot of use this year, and for good reason. The COVID-19 pandemic not only threatened the well-being of Louisiana citizens but also inflicted significant blows to our economy. The recent surge in Louisiana cases reminds us that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our communities on a safe and healthy footing.
Louisiana also endured landfall from four hurricanes and a tropical storm this year – that’s five named storm systems striking our state, the most ever in one year. Major hurricanes have destroyed the homes and businesses of many in our communities. Here at LED, we continue to help businesses and communities to obtain disaster assistance from Congress, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and nonprofit and private-sector contributors.
It has been my privilege to serve as Co-Chair of the Resilient Louisiana Commission, which Gov. John Bel Edwards created in April. After more than six months of work and study, the commission has just issued the Comprehensive Game Plan for a More Resilient Louisiana. This document communicates the commission’s long-term recommendations for creating a more resilient State, expanded job opportunities in Louisiana, and making sure our people are the first choice of employers to take these jobs. Supporting talent development in resilient economic driver industries like IT, advanced manufacturing, and more lays the foundation for enduring economic growth, and building world-class educational and healthcare systems. Clearly, this enhances our competitiveness and quality of life. These recommendations represent the work of 300 men and women from all across Louisiana who served on the commission and its 15 task forces. As we head into a new year with these recommendations as a guidepost, we can feel encouraged about the opportunity to fashion Louisiana into an even better state than it was before the COVID crisis and the 2020 hurricane season.
Meanwhile, here at LED, our team has remained committed to our goal of creating quality jobs and economic opportunities for Louisiana residents. As you will see in the following pages, we have continued to score important project wins all across our state, while ramping up the array of services we provide to our vital small business sector. We look forward to more successes in 2021.
Thank you for your hard work to better our communities and our economy throughout this year. Stay safe, and let’s look ahead with optimism.
Be safe, and be encouraged.