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Louisiana Positives: 2002
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2002 POSITIVELY LOUISIANA

Louisiana is the top state in the South in electoral practices, receiving an overall "B" average. Southern Exposure magazine, a publication of the Institute for Southern Studies, evaluated 13 southern states for its survey. Louisiana was the only state to receive a "B" overall and also received an "A" in the categories of registration system - detailing the state's computerized list and election updates - and in the category of uncounted votes with a 0.6% record on a national average of 2.0% (Southern Exposure, December 2002). http://www.southernstudies.org/se/stateofvoting.pdf 
 
Again Louisiana has ranked among the top states in the country for its efforts to improve school and student performance. Quality Counts 2003 ranks Louisiana 5th for accountability and standards efforts, 12th for its efforts to improve teacher quality and 12th for equitable distribution of resources (Education Week, January 2003). www.edweek.com/sreports/qc03/ 
 
According to the report, "Economic Importance of Hunting in America," Louisiana is ranked No. 10 in hunting-related retail sales for 2001 (International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, December 2002). www.iafwa.org/page2.htm 
 
Louisiana came in as the 8th most improved state over the last decade in the United Way's "State of Caring" Index. The index measures the health and well-being of the country, analyzing 35 leading social, economic and environmental indicators (United Way, November 2002). http://national.unitedway.org/files/pdf/soc/2002/top_10_02.pdf 
 
Monroe-based CenturyTel recently earned the rank of the No. 1 U.S.-based telecommunications company. The ranking also earned CenturyTel No. 16 among information technology companies in the world and No. 7 among the world's telecommunications companies. The rankings are based on Standard & Poor's IT Scorecard (Business Week magazine, December 2002). http://bwnt.businessweek.com/it100/index.asp?sector=Telecommunications 
 
According to data released by the Bureau of Census in the Annual Survey of Manufacturers, Louisiana manufacturing workers are 1st in productivity measured by value of shipments per production worker, and are 4th most productive in the United States in value added per production worker (Bureau of Census, November 2002). www.census.gov/econ/www/ma0300.html 
 
Louisiana residents ranked 5th in the country in percentage of earnings given to charity (Catalogue for Philanthropy, November 2002). www.catalogueforphilanthropy.org/print/cfp/db/generosity.php?print=1 
 
In harvested acres, Louisiana is ranked nationally: No. 1 in sugarcane, No. 2 in sweet potatoes and all rice, and No. 7 in upland cotton and sorghum for grain. In crop production, Louisiana is ranked nationally: No. 2 in sweet potatoes and sugarcane, No. 3 in all rice,    No. 5 in sorghum for grain, and No. 7 in upland cotton (2001 Louisiana Agricultural Statistics, October 2002). www.nass.usda.gov/la 
 
Louisiana is ranked 3rd in the nation in percentage of income growth over the last two years. The average Louisianian's income has grown 9.44% since 2000 (Bureau of Economic Analysis, October 2002). www.bea.doc.gov/ 
 
Inc. Magazine ranked Turner Professional Services of Baton Rouge No. 4 on its annual list of Top 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies in the country (Inc. Magazine, October 2002). www.inc.com/inc500/ 
 
The 1088th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Plaquemine, was awarded the General Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Readiness Award as the best battalion sized unit in the entire National Guard. This is the second year in a row that the 1088th has received the prestigious award (Association of the Unites States Army, October 2002). www.ausa.org/am2002.nsf/(AwardsListing)/106BDDFA24621B7985256C36004F157E?OpenDocument 
 
Louisiana Business & Technology Center recently received the 2002 Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) award thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research program for its work in technology transfer from university research to technology-based small business concerns (Small Business Administration, October 2002). www.sba.gov/sbir/FAST/2002fastawards.pdf 
 
Louisiana's START Program jumped to the head of its class in the latest 529 Plan Report, earning the highest rate of return of states during the first half of 2002 with an annualized rate of 6.12 percent (The 529 Plan Report, October 2002). www.savingforcollege.com 
 
Louisiana's LA 4 early childhood education program has been highlighted by the National Association of State Boards of Education as a model initiative (NASBE, September 2002). www.nasbe.org/ 
 
The Center for Public Integrity ranked Louisiana 15th for its political parties financial disclosure system. Openness, accountability and public access were the primary focus of the nationwide study (The Center for Public Integrity, October 2002). www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/drsearch.asp?L1=20&L2=9&L3=25&L4=10&L5=0&Display=DRNationwideNumbers 
 
Southern Business and Development magazine named Shreveport to the No. 10 spot on its list of Top 10 Southern Mid-Markets in the Last 10 Years (Southern Business and Development magazine, Summer 2002). The magazine also named Shreveport in its listing of The South's Best Automotive Supplier Locations. www.sbd.com/issues/summer2002/topdeals/top10midmarkets.asp 
 
The Shaw Group of Baton Rouge has been named the 22nd fastest-growing public company in the country (Fortune magazine, September 2002). www.fortune.com/lists/fastest/index.html 
 
Louisiana led the nation last year in the percentage of African-American visitors last year with 13.4 percent (Travel Industry Association of America, September 2002). www.tia.org/home.asp 
 
The Center for Digital Government ranked Louisiana 2nd in Digital Democracy, based on access to laws, candidate information and electronic voting technologies, in its 2002 Digital State Survey. Louisiana also climbed from 25th to 17th for E-commerce and Business Regulation, which evaluates the availability of business information, the ability to conduct business online, and the status of portals and e-procurement systems (The Center for Digital Government, August 2002). www.centerdigitalgov.com/center/02top25states-pt2.phtml 
 
Louisiana climbed to No. 18 in the Small Business Survival Index, which rates the policy climate for small business in each state by calculating government costs to business (Small Business Survival Committee, July 2002). www.sbsc.org/Media/pdf/SBSI2002A.pdf 
 
Louisiana's START program is in the Top 5 in 529 investment plans in the country, after netting 6.33 percent interest last year (Saving for College, July 2002). www.savingforcollege.com/compare/investment_results.php 
 
Seven Louisiana businesses made the BE 100 - which annual ranks the nation's largest black-owned businesses (Black Enterprise Magazine, July 2002).

Winnfield Life Insurance Co. - Natchitoches
Williams-Progressive Life & Accident Insurance Co. - Opelousas
Reliable Life Insurance Co. - Monroe
Aeneas Williams Dealership - Monroe
Lundy Enterprises L.L.C. - New Orleans
Liberty Bank & Trust Company - New Orleans
Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. - New Orleans

www.blackenterprise.com/PageOpen.asp?Source=BE100Tab/BE100home.htm  
 
Louisiana ranked 19th in the country in terms of high-tech job growth for 2001. The state's three-percent growth was higher than the national growth rate of just one percent (American Electronics Association, July 2002). www.aeanet.org/PressRoom/idmk_cs2002_Louisiana.asp 
 
Three out of the four 2001 SAFE award winners were to companies whose offshore divisions are run out of Louisiana. The best in the oil and natural gas industry are annually recognized for safe operations, environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility. The Louisiana operations sited were: Danos & Curole Marine Contractors, Inc. - Larose; Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc. - New Orleans; & Exxon Mobil Corporation - New Orleans (Minerals Management Services, July 2002). www.mms.gov/awards/allSAFEwinners.htm 
 
Louisiana ranked in the Top 10 in the nation (7th) in The Princeton Review's first Annual Ranking of State Accountability Systems. The ranking is based on the state's complete accountability system, including academic alignment, test quality, openness to public scrutiny and education policy goals of the state (The Princeton Review, June 2002). www.review.com/stateStudymsg.cfm 
 
Plaquemine was named the Hottest Small Market of the Year by Southern Business & Development, based on its outstanding achievements in economic development (Southern Business & Development, June 2002). www.sb-d.com 
 
Louisiana ranked 5th in the percentage of manufacturing establishments with Internet Access in the Progressive Policy Institute's 2002 New Economy Index (Public Policy Institute, June 2002). www.neweconomyindex.org/states/2002/louisiana.html 
 
All seven of Louisiana's metropolitan areas made it onto the Forbes/Milken Institute list of Best Places for Business and Careers. In the large metro category, Houma came in at No. 33, Lafayette No. 70, Baton Rouge No. 110, Shreveport-Bossier City No. 165, and New Orleans No. 168. In the small metro category, Monroe was ranked No. 22 and Alexandria No. 66. The rankings are based on government data for employment and wage growth, job momentum, and critical shifts within the vast technology sector, weighing gross tech output, technology as a percentage of the total metro economy and the diversity within tech industries (Forbes Magazine, May 2002). www.forbes.com/2002/05/09/bestplaces.html 
 
Louisiana remains in the top 10 in the prestigious Bloomberg annual tax survey, which cites assessment differences from state to state and then ranks them for their tax friendliness (Bloomberg Personal Finance, May 2002). www.bloomberg.com/personal/archives/may_2002.html

      A for tax friendliness to retirees (4th nationally)

      B+ for tax friendliness to families (9th nationally)
 
Louisiana has two cities ranked as among the nation's top 20 Wealth Builders - areas that despite population growth below the median, had real per-capita income growth above the median - New Orleans is ranked 4th and Baton Rouge ranked 19th (The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, February 2002). www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/publications/gottliebexsum.htm 
 
Two Louisiana companies, SCP Pool Corp of Covington and Orthodontic Centers of America of Metairie, were ranked among Business Week's list of hot growth companies in the country. SCP Pool Corp at No. 26 and Orthodontic Centers of America at No. 62 (BusinessWeek, June 2002). www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_23/b3786601.htm 
 
AmericanStyle magazine ranked New Orleans 11th in their list of Top 25 art destinations (AmericanStyle, June 2002). www.americanstyle.com/Travel/Top_25.html 
 
Amitech America Ltd. of Baton Rouge was named among the Top 25 of new business projects based on new jobs (Plants Sites & Parks, May 2002). http://www.bizsites.com/2002/may/article.asp?id=61 
 
Forbes magazine ranked New Orleans No. 18 in its annual list of Best Cities for Singles (Forbes, May 2002). www.forbes.com/2001/05/10/singles.html 
 
The U-Haul national migration trend report, reflecting the nation's top growth areas for families ranked Lafayette 38th and Baton Rouge 50th (U-Haul, May 2002). www.uhaul.com/pr/pr2.html?pr_lancaster_growth 
 
Baton Rouge's Amitech America Ltd. Project ranked as one of the Top 25 business projects based on new jobs (Plants Sites & Parks magazine, May 2002). www.bizsites.com/2002/may/article.asp?id=61 
 
Calcasieu Parish has been named one of the 50 hottest regions for business expansion and relocation - coming in at 44 (Expansion Management, January 2002). www.ExpansionManagement.com 
 
Louisiana is ranked 4th-best state for e-commerce based on how state laws, regulations, and administrative actions support Internet use by Louisiana citizens (Progressive Policy Institute, March 2002)
www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=107&subsecid=294&contentid=250162
 
DeRidder is among the Top 20 Small Towns for Corporate Facilities, ranking 16th (Site Selection magazine, March 2002). www.siteselection.com/issues/2002/mar/p170/ 
 
Natchitoches has been named among the country's top tax havens for retirees (Where to Retire magazine, March 2002). http://www.wheretoretire.com/ 

New Orleans has been named one of the Best Biotech Locations in the South (Southern Business and Development, April 2002).                                                           http://www.sb-d.com/issues/winter2002/index.asp 

 Louisiana has been recognized as one of the Top 10 states in the nation in overall education reform, 4th in the nation in standards and accountability, and 16th in improving teacher quality (Education Week, January 2002). http://www.edweek.com/sreports/qc02/ 

Louisiana is ranked 3rd in the nation in the percentage of accessibility to public and private institutions (Lumina Foundation, January 2002). http://www.luminafoundation.org/monographs/states.shtml 
 
Louisiana has climbed to 2nd in the nation in percentage increase over the last year in funding for postsecondary education. Over the last five years, since Governor Foster has been in office, Louisiana has attained a ranking of fourth in the nation in percentage increase in postsecondary funding (Grapevine Center for Higher Education and Educational Finance, January 2002). http://www.coe.ilstu.edu/grapevine/ 
 
The Louisiana National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, a 17-month program targeting high school dropouts, has been selected as the top ChalleNGe program for Responsible Citizen and Leadership/Followership (National Guard Bureau, February 2002). www.daremightythings.com



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