The NADO Research Foundation has released a new short case study on how NADO member Acadiana Planning Commission in Louisiana researched, wrote, and promoted seven prospectuses for rural communities across its region that highlight the multiple forms of wealth and assets that exist locally. As part of APC’s work more than 20 stakeholder meetings and focus groups were held – both in-person (prior to the pandemic) and virtually through Zoom – to conduct asset-mapping exercises, identify case studies and projects to highlight, and compile data. The result was the creation of highly accessible and visually-engaging prospectuses that director Monique Boulet calls “real marketing tools” for small communities to showcase their assets and amenities.
As part of a regional effort, prospectuses were developed for Abbeville, Breaux Bridge, Church Point, Eunice, New Iberia, Opelousas, and Ville Platte. Their development was supported by federal funding through the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The DRA is a federal-state partnerships created by Congress to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta region. DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. This work is part of the ongoing InvestAcadiana Opportunity Zone Initiative which is a partnership between APC and One Acadiana. It built upon the Acadiana Regional Opportunity Zone Prospectus that was released in February of 2019. InvestAcadiana has previously been recognized by Forbes Magazine as a “Top 20 Opportunity Zone Catalyst” in 2019.
This case study was developed as part of the NADO Research Foundation’s Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions program, funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Originally published in the Abbeville Meridional, March 16, 2021.