The Jefferson EDGE 2020 is the long-term economic development strategic plan to promote sustainability, job growth and investment in Jefferson Parish. Over the course of its 17-year history, the EDGE has served as a road map for our community’s development. Through proactive efforts of our stakeholders, JEDCO, and elected officials, the EDGE has delivered game-changing initiatives such as the development of the 500-acre Churchill Technology and Business Park & quality of life improvements to the Parish.
Many of Jefferson Parish’s most exciting progress and initiatives were born out of the Jefferson EDGE.
The EDGE strategy allows JEDCO to target the needs of these five industries while also focusing on the other industries and businesses that drive the Parish’s success. Jefferson’s proximity to supply chains and a large capacity to house food manufacturers has made it a desirable home for companies in this industry cluster.
Louisiana, and specifically the New Orleans region, is well known for its delicious and unique cuisine and food products. Jefferson Parish is home to many food and beverage companies, many of which have national and international recognition, as well as seafood processors and commercial fishing operations.
This is a foundational industry cluster in Jefferson Parish and the region. Jefferson’s hard assets, including the Harvey Canal, interstate highways, Mississippi River, multiple Class 1 railroads, and the Louis Armstrong International Airport, combine for a multi-modal location unrivaled in the Gulf South.
This industry cluster is the largest employer in the Parish, providing high average wages and attracting top talent to the region. Jefferson Parish leaders work on a regional level to support destination healthcare and continued growth in the Jefferson facilities. Growth in this industry cluster is already visible as Ochsner Health System begins planned improvements along the Jefferson Highway corridor while East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center expand their offerings around the Parish to provide easier access to care.
The tech industry already has strong roots in Jefferson Parish. It is home to companies that boast an international reach from right here. To grow this industry, Jefferson officials will target tech companies that fit right into Jefferson’s existing industries such as engineering, health care, construction and water transportation. By tying the EDGE plan’s targeted clusters together with information technology, the IT industry can be the connective tissue that helps all Jefferson businesses prosper.
This up-and-coming industry is the result of tremendous regional planning and development activity that came out of the realization that Louisiana can and must be a leader in water management and coastal restoration. Businesses in this industry run the gamut from engineering and construction firms that work in coastal environments to stormwater planning and waste management. This industry is poised to grow locally as a continued emphasis is placed on restoring our coast and determining best practices to live with water.
Through the Jefferson EDGE 2020, we identified five very important issues that have an impact on businesses across all industry clusters. We strive to stay ahead of the curve and competitive on a national level by tackling these big issues a little bit at a time.
Jefferson Parish is has made significant progress in permitting. However, we believe in being the best at what we do. We believe pushing further and developing a new standard of excellence is achievable. The proactive teams in the Parish’s Code Enforcement and Planning Departments stand ready to support business needs.
We strongly believe in sharing our story with our community and the rest of the world. JEDCO will continue to market its core services: business retention, expansion, and attraction. Through the EDGE, we will also marketing our targeted industry clusters and develop programming to connect JP firms to expanding national and international markets.
The acquisition and development of Churchill Technology and Business Park marks one of the biggest accomplishments in the EDGE’s long history. The park is home to JEDCO’s headquarters, the JEDCO Conference Center, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, and it is the future home of Delgado Community College’s River City Campus and Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence. As Churchill grows, JEDCO wants to update the vision for the park’s future while also incorporating the surrounding area, called Fairfield, into that plan.
Workforce development and mobility is an incredibly important issue in Jefferson Parish, the region, the state, and nationally. JEDCO and our partners want to reduce barriers to employment and connect businesses to skilled workers. Through comprehensive workforce recruitment programs at the high school level and advocating for improved transit connections to enhance workforce mobility, we’re making strides to connect our residents with quality jobs.
In order to attract new residents, including young professionals, to the Parish, we need to update our housing stock. To compete for the next generation of residents, Jefferson Parish will explore how to increase availability of differing types of housing to satisfy more segments of the market. In 2016, JEDCO established a blue-ribbon committee to tackle Housing Revitalization. The group developed a suite of recommendations, outlined in the Housing Enhancement Study below.
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.
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