Shaping a Better Future – Together



Building a Stronger St. Mary Parish

A stronger community creates a stronger St. Mary, a stronger Louisiana, and a stronger nation. The way we live, work, and play is not determined by the boundaries of your town—neither should our approach to addressing our challenges. The foundation of St. Mary Economic Development’s mission in being a top tier community in Louisiana lies at our focus of supporting fact-based initiatives to improve our economic and community competitiveness. 

We place a high emphasis on raising awareness about critical policy issues, developing expertise, and using data-driven research, we strive to have St. Mary as an integral partner in problem-solving. Through a platform that promotes collaboration for change-makers, St. Mary Economic Development is focused on Progress with a Purpose.

initiatives st marys parish opening

Quality of Life

St. Mary Advocacy

St. Mary Economic Development believes that advancing substantive initiatives requires more than putting forward a position. We aim to give stakeholders and community members a platform to participate in the decision-making process. This means igniting the conversation. It means leading through action. St. Mary Economic Development serves as an intelligent, proactive vehicle for realizing the aspirations of our parish by helping members, investors, and partners articulate their vision for a better community. 

St. Mary Economic Development keeps our long-term potential for growth top of mind. The vast array of issues our leaders face from combating budget stability, investing in infrastructure improvements, to protecting the funding of higher education, are perpetual challenges year-to-year. In working with our partners to find a responsible solution, we believe business needs to contribute effective leadership. 

To achieve our full potential, a collaborative approach is essential, which is why we place a value on our partnerships. We welcome residents, business partners, and community organizations both within St. Mary Parish and the region at large to work with our policymakers in forging alliances and advancing solutions.

initiatives st mary welcome

Join St. Mary Parish

Our Legislative Partners

St. Mary Parish sits at the middle of the Bayou Region and the Acadiana Region together, bridging the southeast and southwest areas of the state together. As such, we work closely with legislators from the nearly 13-parish “super region” to develop responsible solutions to our most pressing challenges. Over 30 state legislators represent our “super region” at the Capitol. 

As a member of our community, you have an opportunity to speak and be heard by decision-makers on issues that are important to you. Additionally, St. Mary Economic Development provides opportunities to become better educated on issues, track important legislation, and contact your elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels. 

Legislative Priorities

Through active engagement of our partners, St. Mary Economic Development creates and publishes a set of high-level legislative priorities intended to convey a simple message and provide flexibility as bills are altered. 

Public Policy Agenda

This comprehensive plan outlines our positions on policy issues we regard as vital to the success and growth of St. Mary Parish, our individual communities, and the region. With a focus on infrastructure, workforce development, public education, economic development, and rural revitalization, as well as a little “lagniappe” (something extra) for good measure, we invite you to look at our policy priorities and get involved in furthering these goals.

St. Mary Parish’s Policy Priorities

Community-Driven, Citizen-Focused

Community-Driven, Citizen-Focused

Through close interworking relationships with our business partners, community organizations, our residents, and subject matter experts, we’re building an information-backed, proactive program that aims to address the major challenges and evaluate opportunities that will strengthen our ability to attract business and talent. Additionally, we work in tandem with our regional partners and regional business leaders to focus on major issues that will define the economic future of the entire region. As a member of our community, you can play an integral role in driving the conversation on how we can improve our community and quality of life, while growing your business.

Policy Initiatives

We can achieve progress with a purpose by advocating for policy solutions that will contribute to furthering our vision to make St. Mary Parish and the entire region one of the most high-quality, sought-after regions in the South for business and professional talent.

Transportation Infrastructure:

In collaboration with our local and regional partners, St. Mary Economic Development is developing strategic action plans to achieve our infrastructure priorities, including a long-term plan for completing I-49 South. The completion of I-49 South is not only a top priority for St. Mary Parish, but for the entire region. Running directly through St. Mary Parish, I-49 South would enhance a vital national link to “America’s Energy Corridor” and would provide a revolutionary investment for Louisiana. The potential benefits stemming from I-49 South includes economic development, safety, hurricane evacuation, and traffic congestion relief. Beyond I-49 South, there is an opportunity for St. Mary Parish to begin aggressively planning for additional connectivity improvements that would supplement the interstate assets of the parish.

Workforce Development:

The future economic success of St. Mary Parish hinges on our ability to cultivate a 21st-century workforce. As Louisiana’s workforce expands, there is a growing skills gap in critical fields requiring postsecondary education. Through targeted investments in workforce training, including more support in Louisiana’s higher education institutions, it will be possible to close this gap. By leveraging our existing postsecondary educational assets in St. Mary Parish and throughout the region, we can build a workforce pipeline that will be capable of supporting high-growth sectors and cultivating a diversified economy.

Rural Revitalization:

The cities, towns, and communities of St. Mary Parish are the most important assets that contribute to our Parish’s identity and fuels our economic opportunity. St. Mary Economic Development recognizes how essential each community is, and works with private investors, businesses, elected officials, and public agencies to implement successful strategies and new policies that will revitalize our communities, and create a catalyst for new developmental activity.

Public Education:

St. Mary Economic Development is committed to protecting and advancing gains in preK-12 education. Gains in student achievement are supported by public education reforms that raise standards, improve PreK, provide for parental choice, and empower school and district leaders. By advancing and sustaining the education policies and best practices that are supporting progress right now, Louisiana can increase the momentum of current student gains and better prepare future generations for college and career opportunities of the 21st Century.