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Economic Development in Louisiana (2008)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana, Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2008-04-23

Duration: 00:55:40

Subjects: Industrial Tax Exemption Program | Hurricane Katrina, 2005 | Hurricane Rita, 2005 | Workforce development | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Filmed panel discussions


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Freeman, Craig Host
  • Pody, Elton Interviewee
  • Shirvinsky, Jim Interviewee
  • Grissom, Steven Interviewee
  • Juneau, Dan Interviewee
  • Moller, Clifford Interviewee
  • Grafton, John Interviewee
  • Elsensohm, George Speaker
  • Williams, Shadric Speaker
  • Vandersteen, Buck Speaker
  • Turner, Lester Speaker
  • Armstrong, Tom Speaker
  • Moore, Patrick Speaker
  • Davis, Cassandra Speaker
  • Edwards, Donna Speaker
  • Domico, Virginia Speaker
  • James, Karen Speaker
  • Noles, Rod Speaker
  • Stafford, Jr., Grove Speaker
  • Moret, Stephen Panelist
  • Barfield, Tim Panelist
  • Alexander, Rodney Panelist
  • May, Joe Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from April 23, 2008, features Craig Freeman leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on the current status of economic development plans in the state. This episode was recorded at the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Elton Pody, president of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce; Jim Shirvinsky, general manager at Union Tank Car Company in Alexandria, Louisiana; Steven Grissom, deputy secretary at the Louisiana Department of Economic Development; Dan Juneau, head of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI); Clifford Moller, executive director of the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority; and John Grafton, executive director of England Authority. The audience members then discuss their views on tax incentives for industries to come to Louisiana, how to address worker shortages, the effect of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita on economic development, and the connection between education levels and workforce opportunities. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Secretary Stephen Moret of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development; Secretary Tim Barfield of the Louisiana Department of Labor; United States Congressman Rodney Alexander; and Dr. Joe May, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. They discuss: how to increase job opportunities for Louisiana’s citizens, treating economic development as a regional policy, and addressing low education levels to improve youth’s access to job opportunities coming out of high schools, colleges, and trade schools. This program was preserved through a 2022-2023 Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Craig Freeman