Today, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) unveiled an updated economic development strategy for Jefferson Parish. Called the Jefferson EDGE 2020, the plan serves as a long-term blueprint to promote sustainability, job growth and investment in the community.
JEDCO spearheaded the initial development of the Jefferson EDGE in 2000. Over the course of its 15-year history, the EDGE has become a road map for the community’s development. Through the proactive efforts of stakeholders, JEDCO and elected officials, The Jefferson EDGE has delivered game-changing initiatives to the Parish, such as the development of the 500-acre Churchill Technology & Business Park located on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish and quality of life improvements related to the beautification of major corridors, education, and Fat City revitalization.
In order to stay relevant in a consistently-changing economic environment, JEDCO decided to update the EDGE 2020. The plan refocuses efforts on current economic development opportunities to maximize JEDCO’s impact on the economy. The planning process began with a baseline assessment of the previous Jefferson EDGE plans as well as the collection of relevant data on Jefferson Parish demographics, economy, and industry clusters. Regional economic development plans were also taken into account.
JEDCO hosted several rounds of stakeholder meetings with key industry leaders, the civic community, and elected officials to develop the plan and the action items needed to achieve success over the next five years. The refocused Jefferson EDGE 2020 offers a two-tiered strategic framework. The first, Industry Cluster Strategies, will target and prioritize industry clusters with the greatest opportunities for growth in Jefferson Parish. The second part of the plan will focus on Cross-Cutting Issues, which will allow JEDCO and Jefferson Parish to tackle broader issues, such as permitting, building stock, and workforce development, which affect multiple industry clusters.
The targeted industry clusters include:
The planning process took five months. During that time, JEDCO held two rounds of stakeholder meetings with groups focused on the following four areas: manufacturing, major industries, FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate), and municipal and business groups. JEDCO also held a public meeting and sought feedback on the plan from various civic organizations in the community in order to craft the best possible report. JEDCO engaged approximately 150 people to assist in the development of the updated plan.
JEDCO commissioned GCR, Inc. to craft the updated EDGE report along with an implementation framework to measure success of all action items laid out in the plan. The Jefferson EDGE 2020 was approved by the Jefferson Parish Council in late August.
“The updated Jefferson EDGE plan will position the community for long-term economic growth,” says JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “Through a rigorous planning process with our key community thought leaders we addressed major actions and opportunities that need to be taken to ensure a thriving future. We are confident that we have developed a strategy that will result in an even stronger economic landscape for Jefferson Parish.”
Implementation of the plan is set to begin immediately. Click here to see the full Jefferson EDGE 2020 Update.