Current Projects

VEDA is proud to partner with the Twin Parish Port District (Port of Delcambre), Louisiana SeaGrant, and private partners on this project. This partnership is intended to serve as a Rural Jobs Accelerator (Accelerator), “a center or program located in or serving a rural low-income community that may provide co-working space, in-demand skills training, entrepreneurship and business support, which is located in a rural area.”

This is also an Innovation Center – “a cross-functional place for the planning and creation of new ideas and opportunities for individual and group collaboration that leads to supporting deployment of innovative processes, technologies, services and products for economic development.”

  • USDA has announced that The Acadiana Seafood Hub will receive $780,707.00 in Rural Development funding through a Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant. Monies will be used to construct an innovation center that creates and expands businesses and provides training for the local seafood industry.
  • Delta Regional Authority has announced that The Acadiana Seafood Hub will receive $275,000.00 in SEDAP funding. DRA funds will be used to invest in land purchase, site development, and architectural and engineering fees.
  • The letter of interest serves multiple purposes. It helps the Port of Delcambre to report the level of interest the community has in the seafood hub project to funding sources and secondly, it helps the planning team to ensure the hub has the equipment most needed by local businesses who will be using the facility. Please note, the Letter of Interest does not obligate you to anything. The letter just helps to determine general interest and supports the planning process. If you have not already and intend to, please return your letter no later than Thursday, March 10. See the bottom of the form for details. You may mail, scan/copy and email, or fax the completed form back.

Pandemic-era issues are affecting business communities across the world. Employers are turning to age-old practices to solve new programs to limited success. That’s where the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance (VEDA) comes in. VEDA has launched an online community job board to help local companies connect with Vermilion Parish jobseekers.

The new online job board is featured among VEDA’s other workforce development efforts. There, employers and jobseekers can find useful tools and make meaningful connections.

City of Abbeville is partnering with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) to build an Economic Development plan for Abbeville. The Louisiana Development Ready Community (LDRC) program is designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Abbeville and provide community leaders with clear direction on specific resources needed to foster successful economic development while increasing collaboration between municipal, parish, regional and state economic development practitioners. Upon completion of this process, the LDRC certification will put Abbeville in the forefront for businesses looking to invest in Louisiana.

We have partnered with UL Lafayette’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center to offer no-cost energy assessments. An energy assessment or audit is an in-depth, outside to inside, room-by-room examination of your business’ current energy efficiency levels and usage practices.

A customized plan can be developed focusing on cost-effective solutions for maximizing functionality and efficiency while minimizing your business’ energy usage and expenses.

Link & Learn

Vermilion Parish families are evaluating their options and making preparations for a variety of different learning scenarios. Regardless of your plan, Internet access should be the first thing on your school supply list!

The Link and Learn internet program, is a partnership between school districts, Love Our Schools and local providers to offer low-cost, open, wireless internet for qualifying families of Acadiana students. Connect now to get set up with online learning resources before school begins. 

Distance Socially, Eat Locally! Due to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, health officials have ordered restaurants and bars to shut down their dining rooms indefinitely in order to slow the rate of infection. As a result, the hospitality industry is suffering greatly. This effort aims to draw attention to local restaurants that are offering curbside, to-go, and delivery options.

Enter: The #AcadianaToGeaux challenge! Participating in the challenge will show our support for the struggling restaurant community and increase awareness about the crisis restaurants are facing at this time. We’re asking everyone to order takeout or delivery on Thursdays and as often as you can.

VEDA’s vision includes a Vermilion Parish that embraces its rural and cultural identities and creates opportunities where both are preserved and celebrated. With that in mind we’re launching a new initiative called “Made in Vermilion.” This effort aims to bring awareness and profitability to those Vermilion-based businesses creating something and bringing wealth into our parish.

The staff has conducted its own research, but is accepting submissions from the public to be vetted. If you own or love a company that creates something in Vermilion, use the link to the right to let us know.

**During the Stay At Home order, all visitations will be conducted over the phone.**
All great communities have something in common, they support their existing business base. Since Vermilion Parish is a great community, we put first things first and started our Business Visitation Program before any other initiative (in April of 2015). Since then, VEDA has met with hundreds of businesses in an effort to create a solid foundation of well-prepared entrepreneurs and decision makers. What started as a suggestion from a 2012 report issued to the Police Jury (A Vision and A Task: An Action Agenda For The Vermilion Parish Economy) has become the lifeblood of the organization. The program not only prepares businesses to take advantage of new opportunities and assists them in solving issues with operations, but it also prepares our organization with the understanding we need to effectively build programming.

In our experience, small businesses are armed with folks who are great at delivering their unique products or services, but often lack the training on the ins and outs of actually running the business. That’s where we come in. Using information collected from our visitations, we coordinate quarterly Business Tune-Ups. These professional development sessions are taught by subject matter experts and are available at no cost to the business community! Being a lifelong learner is a hallmark of a good business owner, don’t get left behind!

Spending dollars locally can have a major impact on the economy. Disposable income spent at local establishments or with local service providers contribute to an improved quality of life through increased tax dollars and the ability to retain local employees. This program takes that concept one step further by sharing ways for residents to experience the civic and social side of the parish, also. Building community pride and sustaining the things we love about Vermilion are just a few of the goals of this multi-organization effort.

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is the nationwide movement helps bring attention to the importance of supporting small businesses in communities across America.

As a Neighborhood Champion, the Alliance spreads the word about how important shopping local can be and also connects local businesses to available resources. If you’d like to find out more or take advantage of the Shop Small & Small Business Saturday materials, please let us know!

After Vermilion’s first parish-wide job fair in March of 2016, local civic leaders and workforce partners wanted to create a dedicated pathway to employers and job seekers. Using funds earmarked for workforce development, the Vermilion at Work initiative was designed and crafted.  Vermilion at Work is an over-arching brand for employment services of all kinds, assisting those seeking career opportunities or employees in Vermilion Parish.

In 2019, Vermilion launched the 55 by 25 Initiative, an effort to increase the educational attainment of the workforce in Acadiana. With four comprehensive focus areas – kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, post-secondary enrollment, and industry credentialing – 55 by 25 arms our parish with tools to improve the marketability of our labor pool.

The inaugural Vermilion Parish Job Fair was hosted in March of 2016 by workforce, economic development, and chamber partners from around the region. Over 700 job seekers had the opportunity to local available positions at 50 participating employer locations.

Each year we co-host the annual fair during K-12 Spring Break week (Wednesday) at Abbeville High School. Pre-events for jobseekers and employers are held leading up to this date.

In 2012, parties interested in pursuing economic development efforts commissioned a study to develop a plan for growth. One recommendation was to develop brands for Vermilion’s agricultural products. In pursuing this effort, the Alliance has begun working with cattleman with the hopes we can attract outside investment and grow local investment in missing or lost cattle processing models. The idea is to replicate the model with other products in agricultural, aquaculture and fisheries.

We want to give the business community every opportunity to help local civic or charitable organizations and reap the benefits of doing so. For that reason, we’ve partnered with the Christian Service Center to create a Vermilion Parish Community Organization Directory.

Once it’s published individuals and businesses can use it as a “giving guide” and a way to access service opportunities right here at home. Service organizations can use it as a way to communicate their values and mission and find volunteers and supporters.

Adapted from our “business walk” program, Destination Downtown aims to shine a light on opportunities that exist in a specific town’s downtown district. These urban centers are traditionally the economic centers of both commerce and municipal activities, but without nurturing, can lose the vibrancy of yesterday’s “main street” feel due to modern factors like sprawl and big box retail development. Our economic development advocates partner with local governments, business owners, and residents to attract local and external investment by showcasing available spaces, cultural events, and existing redevelopment in a community open-house-style event.

Archived Initiatives

Partnering with local elected officials, the economic development office conducts “business walks.” Business walks have proven highly effective in strengthening local economies by retaining businesses in a community and creating an environment where they can grow. Companies can range from large employers, to the local mom-and-pop establishments and everything in between. Business leaders and “walkers” pose questions and get feedback on economic conditions, what local owners enjoy about doing business in the area, and how business could be improved.

Acadiana Day is an annual event that brings together economic developers, chambers of commerce, tourist commissions, and Acadiana advocates to celebrate what makes our region special. The Acadiana legislative delegation and Governor are invited to share updates from the most recent session and hear about important issues and projects for the upcoming year. The event usually takes place in the Spring session (between March & May).

*The Alliance’s Executive Director, Anne Falgout, was the 2016 Chair of the event through her service as the 2016 Chair of Acadiana Regional Alliance

The Acadiana Women’s Network is committed to building a professional network that will serve women in Acadiana throughout their careers. We are focused on creating a platform for robust conversations and providing access to mentors and experts that can help you maximize your leadership role in business and civic communities across our region. Our aim is to facilitate a balance between sharing information, addressing the opportunities and challenges women face, and inspiring women to take action.

Project Front Yard is an initiative which brings together individuals, business, government and media partners to address community beautification through education. Project Front Yard’s mission is to build awareness and stimulate improvement of the face of our local community.  Initiatives under Project Front Yard include revitalization of gateways, improved streetscapes, litter removal and prevention, public art, river cleanup, and education.   

Vermilion Parish residents faced difficulty after the flooding in August 2016. Area agencies are providing access to information and assistance where applicable to residents and businesses alike.