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Louisiana Strategic Plan Provides Road Map for Developing State's Economy

April 04, 2003

An update to Louisiana: Vision 2020, a strategic plan to improve the Louisiana economy, calls for creating more quality jobs in the state's high growth sectors. First released by the Louisiana Economic Development Council in 1998, the newly revised plan also stresses the need to place increased importance on early childhood education, teacher quality and math and reading performance among high school students as keys to boosting student achievement.

Louisiana: Vision 2020, 2003 Update centers around three goals designed to accomplish 27 quantifiable objectives. Goal One, which sets up the next two goals, calls for the state to reinvent itself as a Learning Enterprise, "a rich, diverse, complex organism in which all businesses, institutions, and citizens are actively engaged in the pursuit of knowledge."

The plan's second goal focuses on supporting an environment in which entrepreneurs in Louisiana may thrive. It states that since entrepreneurs are responsible for most high growth companies and new high wage jobs, Louisiana's economic development strategies should strive to retain the state's talented graduates and workers. Fifteen technology clusters are cited as targets for economic development activity, including: advanced materials; agriculture and food products; entertainment; environmental technologies; food technologies; health care; information technologies; life sciences; micro- and nanotechnologies; oil, gas and energy technologies; petrochemicals; shipbuilding and other durable goods manufacturing; transportation and logistics; tourism; and wood, lumber and paper.

Goal Three sets as a target for Louisiana to rank among the nation's top 10 states in standard of living indicators. It also calls for "the preservation, development and promotion of Louisiana's natural and cultural assets for their recreational and aesthetic values."