"...a region's performance in the knowledge economy can rise no higher than the sum of knowledge of its people." -Invested Here: Transforming the Southern Economy
Advanced knowledge and skill levels in the population is a necessary condition for the development of a vibrant, diverse, resilient economy. As Central Louisiana's regional economic development organization, CLEDA is committed to the creation of a culture of learning. CLEDA helps to build educational platforms that catalyze and enable the acquisition and application of new knowledge and new skills by both our existing and developing workforce.
CLEDA rigorously measures educations achievement through the Central Louisiana region--at all levels. We believe that education outcomes must be improved in early childhood, in the K-12 cohort, in all levels of higher education, and through a commitment to lifelong learning.
"Beyond High School," an important 2009 report from The Rapides Foundation, found that more than eighty percent of the jobs that we will create in the next decade in the region will require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year degree. A substantial portion of those jobs will be associated with the manufacturing sector.
Central Louisiana’s major industries that rely on the region's talent include: Accurate Industries, ADA Carbon Solutions, AFCO Industries, Alliance Compressors, Arclin, Baker Manufacturing, BASF, Boise Cascade, Calvery Industries, Catahoula Manufacturing, Concordia Metals, CLECO, Crest Industries, Eclectic Products, Hayes Manufacturing, Hexion, Intergrated Packaging, International Paper, Jeld-Wen, Kerotest Manufacturing, Kisatchie Treating, LA Elastomer, Leesville Lumber, Pilgrims Poultry Processing, Plastipak Packaging, PQ Corporation, Procter&Gamble, RoyOMartin, Stella-Jones, Tri-State Industries, Universal Plant Services, UTLX Manufacturing, West Fraser, Weyerhaeuser and Willamette Valley.
CLEDA encourages and supports the continuing growth of the Central Louisiana Technical Community College's seven campuses as our primary platform for building the manufacturing workforce. CLEDA works closely with LSU of Alexandria, Louisiana College, Northwestern State University as primary platforms for raising education achievements at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels. Additionally, all four of these institutions are critical providers of talent for the allied health field, another key job creator in Central Louisiana. CLEDA works with all four institutions to build closer, more effective partnerships with the private sector.
All of these efforts are intended to create a deeper, more qualified talent pool in Central Louisiana. In using the term "talent," however, we are also mindful of the limitations of pure talent. It was Albert Einstein who said, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."
We know that it takes well-rounded, hard-working, and passionately motivated individuals to form the backbone of a strong economy. CLEDA is devoted to helping build the platforms and partnerships that will enable constant and meaningful progress towards these goals.