The Northshore is in the Midst of a Business Development Evolution

Almost six years ago, in July 2018, I became the chief executive officer at St. Tammany Corporation. In that time, we have realigned the priority focus areas for the local economic development organization in St. Tammany and reimagined economic development on the Northshore.

St. Tammany Corporation anchors economic development on the Northshore through collaboration with partners and stakeholders both in St. Tammany and across the region. Our team works diligently to diversify the business and industry landscape. We proactively pursue product development in both land and site, and workforce and talent assets to establish St. Tammany as a destination of choice for businesses. We tackle cross-cutting issues that are barriers to business growth and advance and protect quality of life through dynamic economic development initiatives.

In the past year, St. Tammany Corporation has announced four projects in the corporate headquarters, cold storage and manufacturing sectors representing over $73.3 million in capital investment and 530 jobs in St. Tammany.

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We are investing in talent development through hosting fellows for both the inaugural International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Equity in Economic Development Fellowship and the inaugural Economic Recovery Corps Fellowship programs.

Our efforts in creating, leading and supporting two collaborative initiatives — the Workforce Roundtable and Northshore Healthscape — were honored with programmatic awards at the 2023 IEDC annual conference.

We continued our partnership with The Idea Village through the implementation of two IDEAinstitute Northshore cohorts and held the inaugural NSpire Startup Slam where Alana Scott, founder of Kinkz, took home the grand prize package valued at over $60,000.

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Following a rigorous application and review process, St. Tammany Corporation was officially recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) by IEDC.

We concluded the implementation of St. Tammany’s first economic development strategic plan, THRIVE2023, in February and are in the midst of the planning and development process of our second five-year economic development strategic plan. This new strategic plan will be presented for adoption in the third quarter and will chart our efforts for businesses, families and talent on the Northshore through 2029.

Economic development in Louisiana is experiencing a similar season of evolution and is poised to see a transformation that the state has not had in decades. The Northshore’s own secretary Susan Bonnett Bourgeois is at the helm of Louisiana Economic Development and ready to put Louisiana on the map, in the game and, playing to win. When he announced her appointment, Gov. Jeff Landry was direct, specific and clear in his objective to position Louisiana to win, and Secretary Bourgeois is ready to do just that. The secretary leads through a “yes, and” mentality and is keen to showcase the “multi-generational, hard-working, committed Louisiana workforce.”

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Efforts are underway within the department, in the Legislature and in statewide collaboratives to modernize how economic development is facilitated at the state level to ensure Louisiana has a seat at the table and is strategically positioned to effectively tell its story through understanding and sharing our advantages. All these efforts are anchored in the principle of positioning Louisiana to compete and win. This includes ensuring every Louisiana citizen can advance their wage earnings. Business development can be harnessed to both optimize Louisiana’s legacy industries to lead in the future, as they have in the past, and to grow and innovate the Louisiana business and economic ecosystems to impact the world. The desire to move at the speed of business, remove bureaucratic barriers, retain top talent and implement initiatives and programs and measure their impact beyond a four-year political cycle will position the state for success that will positively impact an entire generation.

A thriving St. Tammany requires a growing, vibrant Louisiana. St. Tammany Corporation is committed to working alongside our economic development partners to maximize the opportunities to showcase Louisiana’s dynamic and treasured assets to be the destination of choice for talent, industry, business investment and economic mobility


Chris Masingill is the chief executive officer of St. Tammany Corporation, the economic development organization of the parish. He may be reached at cmasingill@sttammanycorp.org.

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