By David Reynolds – December 16, 2019
Louisiana is facing an influx of job opportunities in the fields of energy and infrastructure development. Over $7.6 billion in capital investments has come to the state so far this year and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems the strongly pro-business climate has created an environment attracting some of the largest industrial, marine, and infrastructure projects in the country.
The most popular industries for growth within the region are liquefied natural gas, petrochemicals, automotive, aerospace, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, software/IT, and water management. Ranked first in the nation for manufacturing productivity, with over $100 billion in direct investment over the last decade, Louisiana continues to require workers with a high level of technical qualifications and skills. That’s something the state has supported with the advancement of new programs within the region.
Energy Sector Growth
Big plans are in the works to invest heavily into renewable energy in Louisiana over the next decade. Up to 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy generating capacity will be added by 2030 with the majority coming from solar. The energy sector has always been a substantial contributor to Louisiana’s economy.
Over 90 percent of waterborne oil rigs in the United States are located off Louisiana’s coast making the state number two in crude oil and number three in natural gas production nationwide. For these reasons, and investments the state is making into energy-based education, the energy sector workforce is set for strong growth in the years to come.
Louisiana leverages its strengths by developing highly competitive incentives for new and existing energy companies to grow within the state. With specialized tax exemptions, direct job programs, and technology incentives, companies in the energy sector are flocking to the Pelican State.
In 2019 Louisiana was ranked number 2 behind Texas when it comes to infrastructure investments related to economic growth among states in the U.S. The study, by Site Selection Magazine, reviews data from multiple categories to create an index comparing project scope to state population. Considering how large Texas is compared to Louisiana, second place is a noteworthy accomplishment. In fact, a range of new investments and initiatives are targeted at growing transportation within the state, including plans to improve the roads, bridges and the New Orleans International Airport.
As of November, Louisiana has announced a total of $20 million in infrastructure investment grants, with half going to the Louisiana Government Assistance Program and half to the Community Water Enrichment Fund. All told, these will aid in improvements to construction, structural change, and restoration of infrastructure in specifically rural areas. The money is to be doled out to different villages, towns, and parishes throughout the state, based on applications submitted.
The Workforce Needed
In order to meet the demands of the influx in investments and companies coming into Louisiana, additional skilled workers will be needed statewide. 3,700 new jobs were created in the state in just 12 months and new opportunities are expected to expand the job market even more. In fact, when looking at state employment, Louisiana’s Economic Development Secretary, Don Pierson, says that the market hit a near-record high in the third quarter of 2019 and had been on a 16-month consecutive job growth record as well. The trend is expected to continue with the new influx of investments. With this growing need, Ameri-Force is expanding its reach throughout Louisiana, taking on more industrial, infrastructure, and marine projects. Whether you’re a skilled craftsman seeking employment or a company needing staffing expertise, Ameri-Force is here to help.
David Reynolds is based in Portsmouth, VA and has served as a Regional Account Executive with Ameri-Force since 2018. David has a strong background in the marine industry dating back to 2008. David is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.