Acadiana’s rich cultural heritage, family-friendly activities and diverse landscapes make it one of the more unique places in the country to live. But it is also a region on the rise. The strength of many top Lafayette industries, such as manufacturing and oil and gas, support fast-growing technology sectors and drive economic growth throughout Acadiana.
The diversity and strength of Acadiana’s various regional and local economies is becoming well-known throughout the country. In August 2012, CNN Money named Lafayette one of the Top 25 places in the U.S. that make it “easier to find work” and that is a “great place to live.”
Advanced and Traditional Manufacturing
Acadiana is home to a diverse mix of manufacturing operations, cementing the region’s position as one of the top areas in the country for manufacturing. In 2013, Business Facilities magazine ranked Lafayette as 3rd in the nation for manufacturing employment leaders in medium-sized areas.
Overall, manufacturing in Acadiana employs more than 20,000 across a variety of traditional, specialty and niche areas. For example, Stuller Inc. — one of the world’s largest jewelry manufacturing and distribution centers — supports a local workforce of nearly 1,200 employees at the company’s headquarters in Lafayette.
Led by a vibrant entrepreneurial community and the visible and active presence of nearby higher education and research institutions, Acadiana is rapidly developing into a regional and national force in the digital media and technology arena.
Lafayette’s municipal fiber optic network provides high-speed internet access of up to 100 megabits per second and is accessible to residents and businesses in the area. The network, one of the few such fiber initiatives in the country to be undertaken and managed at the municipal level, is a meaningful differentiator for Acadiana and served as a catalyst for regional advancements in fields such as telemedicine and advanced manufacturing.
Headquarters and Business Operations
A combination of business-friendly tax incentives, a strong regional economy and positive quality-of-life elements are just a few reasons why both entrepreneurs and established companies choose to anchor their headquarters in Acadiana.
Golfballs.com, a niche, e-commerce business has achieved tremendous success through both its online site and its Lafayette “brick and mortar” storefront. Ranked as one of Acadiana’s Top 50 Privately Held Companies, Golfballs.com claimed a spot on Inc. magazine’s 2014 Inc. 5000 List of fastest-growing companies in America.
Acadiana’s many healthcare facilities provide critical services to those who live in and around the region, but its healthcare industry is also an economic driver.
Lafayette General Medical Center employs a workforce of nearly 2,000 and, taken as a whole, Acadiana has over 800 practicing physicians crossing more than 33 specialties. In addition to more than 15 hospitals located throughout the region, treatment centers help ensure access to top-quality, specialized health care is nearby. Advances in communications and digital data transfer — thanks in part to Lafayette’s high-speed fiber optics network — continue to create new opportunities for both treatment and research.
Oil and Gas
Many of the nation’s top oil and gas companies maintain an active, robust presence in Acadiana, and there’s a good reason why: the region’s location provides accessibility to key transportation corridors just a short drive away from the Gulf of Mexico. Solid infrastructure for drilling and exploration support differentiates Acadiana from its peers and is considered pivotal to the region’s overall growth and success.
Companies such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes are just two examples of global, multi-billion dollar oil and gas companies serving as catalysts for strong and stable economic growth in the area while providing employment for thousands of area residents in the process. In addition, over 600 oil-related companies in the region provide a variety of products and services that collectively power the energy sector at the regional and national level.