Dear friends and colleagues,

In recent months, a number of important reports have been released about the global impacts of sea level rise. The challenges that Louisiana is facing are not unique. But our state is the only one in the nation with a coastal master plan.

Louisiana’s leadership in this arena is an existential imperative to be sure. But beyond restoring our own coast, if we ensure this work results in the development of a water management cluster with expertise poised to serve other regions, we can secure “first mover advantage” as markets worldwide begin demanding coastal protection and restoration services.

Today, The Data Center releases a new report on the development of the water management economy in the Southeast Louisiana Super Region. This report finds that the massive investments in flood protection and restoration to date seem to have yielded strong growth in construction jobs, but engineering jobs are not growing as fast locally as they are nationally. Matching workers and small businesses with water management opportunities is critical in the short term, and will be essential for promoting innovation locally in the longer-term. 

Moreover, water management industries have many occupations with mid-wage, accessible jobs as well as higher-wage specialized occupations. With a decades-long time horizon of coastal planning, a parallel plan for cultivating job skills over a generation will nurture a local workforce that can support this growing industry as well as nourish the communities of Southeast Louisiana over the long term. 
Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center Team
Rachel Weinstein, Arthur Rymer, Katrina Andry, Erica Amrine, Allison Plyer, Dabne Whitemore, Jenna Losh, Don Asay, Robby Habans, Amy Teller, Lamar Gardere, and Cody Brumfield

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