Over the course of its 20-year history, The Jefferson EDGE has provided a roadmap for promoting sustainability, job growth, and investment in Jefferson Parish. First adopted in 2000, the initial plan helped set the course for many of the Parish’s most successful initiatives, including laying the groundwork for the 480-acre Churchill Technology and Business Park, one of the region’s last major greenfield sites. Other accomplishments, such as prioritizing and facilitating billions of dollars in critical infrastructure improvements, the ongoing efforts to revitalize Metairie’s Fat City neighborhood, the purchase and redevelopment of the former Avondale Shipyard, and the Jefferson Parish Housing Stock Enhancement Strategic Plan, were all initiated during earlier EDGE planning efforts.
With consultation, research and guidance from Austin-based TIP Strategies (TIP) as well as a high level of public and private participation from key stakeholders and partners, the EDGE 2025 became a reality. The Jefferson EDGE 2025 builds upon the previous EDGE plans to create a forward-thinking document that will inform the future of the Jefferson Parish economy. It is centered on three major goals and five major targeted industry clusters that all work in tandem to validate Jefferson Parish as a major destination for business, innovation and quality of life.
The Jefferson EDGE 2025 plan lays out a path to grow Jefferson Parish’s economy through the retention and creation of quality jobs, entrepreneurship, and investment over the next five years (2021 to 2025). With this objective in mind, TIP collaborated with the JEDCO project team to devise a set of core principles to guide the planning process. These principles provide an essential framework for evaluating bold ideas and innovative strategies that will improve the economic vitality and resiliency of the Jeffers Parish economy, position the parish for a more equitable recovery from the pandemic, and strengthen the competitiveness of Jefferson Parish over the next five years and beyond.
Want to take a deeper dive into the plan? Listen to the Jefferson Parish Pulse podcast BONUS episode featuring JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. He highlights a number of features within the plan and the work done to bring this to fruition.
The Jefferson EDGE 2025 offers a holistic approach toward developing the Parish’s target industries. This new framework includes talent and workforce strategies as well as quality of place and real estate development strategies that will be necessary for JEDCO and its partners to achieve success in business development. The EDGE 2025 acknowledges the reality of modern economic development: successful companies need creative people and quality places.
Support the continued growth and diversification of Jefferson Parish’s healthcare industry, expanding its role as the region’s biggest growth engine and source of innovation.
Position Jefferson Parish as the epicenter of intermodal supply chain business growth in Greater New Orleans, leveraging the combination of intermodal—airport, water transport, rail, and highway—assets, and development-ready industrial sites.
Promote Jefferson Parish and Greater New Orleans as a premier location for culinary products produced locally and exported globally.
Expand the local environmental and engineering services industry through business development efforts that attract new jobs and investment into Jefferson Parish while also protecting and enhancing the Parish’s environmental resources.
Pursue major tech recruitment projects in Jefferson Parish, helping Greater New Orleans rise onto the national stage as a leading tech hub.
The Jefferson EDGE 2025 strategic plan is centered on three major goals: Talent & Workforce, Innovation & Industry, and Quality of Place & Real Estate. Each goal is supported by initiatives designed to develop and attract talent, attract new investment and job growth in target industries, and develop quality places and amenities. Goal 1 is about people, Goal 2 is about business and industry, and Goal 3 is about placemaking. All these goals and actions intersect to create one forward-thinking plan that address Jefferson Parish’s urgent, short-term needs stemming the pandemic as well as resiliency considerations for the longer-term positioning of Jefferson Parish.
Ensure residents have access to well-paying jobs and employers have access to a pipeline of talent. As communities become more competitive and focused on attracting workers to meet the needs of their key industries, the Jefferson EDGE calls for a prioritization of talent attraction with a specific focus on the attraction and retention of remote workers,and retraining and upskilling our existing workforce for high-demand industries. The ability to provide a pipeline of talent aligned with the needs of current and future employers is a top factor in regional competitiveness.
Aggressively pursue innovation-centric industries and encourage entrepreneurship. As traditional industries reinvent themselves to become more efficient and tech-oriented, the Jefferson EDGE calls upon JEDCO to expand its business development focus on technology and innovation while also creating a more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that can support the new generation of entrepreneurs born out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accelerate real estate development projects that create quality spaces for new jobs and investment in the Parish’s industrial, commercial, and mixed-use districts. In the wake of the pandemic, the Jefferson EDGE calls for the community to create quality places that can attract new residents, technology companies, and other industries with high-wage jobs. The EDGE provides strategies to protect and grow major industrial sites to attract new jobs and investment. It is concerned with the redevelopment of stagnant commercial areas and retail spaces, and opportunities for adding density, employment and investment to already active districts. In addition to these site-specific development opportunities, this goal calls for a continued commitment to quality of place (including housing) and investment in amenities, infrastructure, and urban design that will create a stronger quality of place that attracts and retains residents in the Parish.
Through private funding and investment, the Jefferson EDGE has delivered key initiatives to the community, consistently evolving to meet the needs of Jefferson Parish. While many of the action items and recommendations of the Jefferson EDGE can and have been implemented by JEDCO alone, the major initiatives that create catalytic change in the Parish require seed funding. Private investment in the EDGE fund is the difference between realizing these major initiatives and losing momentum on our path to success. Public-private partnership gives Jefferson Parish a competitive EDGE.
The EDGE Investor levels represent the contribution amount received annually.
We could not implement game-changing initiatives without the support of our business community. We are grateful to our many EDGE Investors who have shaped the future of Jefferson Parish with their generous contributions.
Bryan Imports Co.
LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors
Waldemar S. Nelson & Company