SoLA Super-Region

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Meet the SoLA Super Region

The Southeast Louisiana Super Region – or SoLA – unites the New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Bayou regions to collaboratively identify and promote initiatives that foster a thriving economic climate and superior quality of life for the businesses and residents of all three regions.

The SoLA Super Region brings relevant business and policy stakeholders to the table to engage in meaningful dialogue, align on priorities and desired outcomes, and realize the incredible power of directing their collective energies toward a shared vision.

Together, SoLA represents 23 Louisiana parishes stretching from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the French Quarter to the Louisiana State Capitol. As the business and cultural heart of the Gulf Coast, the Super Region brings together the best of each region to offer one the most diverse and rewarding options for businesses in America today.

Greater New Orleans
A national beacon of culture and history, Greater New Orleans offers unparalleled access to some of the world’s best music, food, nightlife, and art. The area’s post-Katrina revitalization has attracted an abundance of innovative and entrepreneurial talent, as well as unprecedented business development across a variety of sectors, from energy and trade to digital media and biosciences.

Baton Rouge Area
In addition to being the legislative center of Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area is home to the state’s flagship university, LSU, which launches thousands of graduates into the local workforce each year. Baton Rouge is one of the fastest growing metro economies in the country, with demonstrated excellence in science and engineering industries like chemicals, materials, software, and technical support.

Bayou Region
Located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Bayou Region is the world’s entry point to the extensive port system through which much of the country distributes its goods and services. With a focus on energy and agricultural production – together with its abundance of natural resources – the Bayou Region serves as the industrial core of the SoLA economy.

Strength in Numbers

We have enormous potential when we work together as the SoLA Super Region. When we team up, we are a political force to be reckoned with.” – Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce

 

With a regional coalition comes not only greater population, but also greater political power. The SoLA Super Region represents more than half of Louisiana’s legislative seats, and those voices are significantly stronger when they speak in unison.

Each legislative term, SoLA representatives advocate for select policy issues that have the potential to mutually benefit the entire Super Region, make SoLA a more attractive place to live, work, and grow a business, and are more effectively addressed together, such as:

  • State Budget Reform to prevent budget cuts to the critical initiatives and institutions that support and propel our economy.
  • Sustaining autonomy and long-term Funding for Higher Ed Institutions in the face of greater spending cuts to higher education than in any other state in the country.
  • Regional Transportation Upgrades, including high-speed passenger rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
  • Identifying and advancing innovative strategies to reduce Louisiana’s incarceration rate (the highest in the US), improve funding efficiencies, and promote Criminal Justice Reform

Superior Economic Opportunity

Strength in numbers is enhanced even further by strength in collective assets.”– Vic LaFont, Executive Director of the South Louisiana Economic Council

 

More people, more resources, more opportunity. 55% of Louisiana’s residents call the SoLA Super Region home, as do 62% of the state’s largest employers, which equates to more employees, customers, vendors, and partners to drive your business forward.

When this tremendous human and intellectual capital is paired with the region’s 17 higher education institutions, extensive port and trade infrastructure, the nation’s second-fastest growing airport, and some of the richest business incentives in the nation, it’s no wonder the SoLA Super Region is so consistently awarded for its economic growth and superior business climate.

Reclaiming Competitive Advantage

When all of southeast Louisiana sticks together, we can not only drive change inside Louisiana, but also better compete with megacities like Houston outside of the State.”– Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

 

The SoLA Super Region comprises 55% of Louisiana’s population, 56% of its businesses, 62% of its gross regional product, and 59% of its higher education institutions. When we work to advance our regional economies in parallel, rather than in tandem, we squander the competitive advantages of these pooled resources and must work harder to compete with other cities in the Southeast.

SoLA Super Region: 12,675 sq. mi.
Greater Houston: 8,258 sq. mi.
Metro Atlanta: 8,197 sq. mi.

Greater
New
Orleans
Baton
Rouge
Area
Bayou
Region
SoLA Houston Atlanta
Population 1.5M 840K 290K 2.6M 6.9M 5.9M
Jobs 675K 425K 120K 1.2M 3.2M 2.8M
Cost of Living Index
(100 = national average)
103 101 100 102 109 103
Higher Ed Institutions 12 4 1 17 21 30
Annual Graduates 12K 7K 600 19K 21K 30K