LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU CERTIFIES SEVEN LOUISIANA LOCALES AS RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES -- 05/08/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2007
LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU CERTIFIES SEVEN LOUISIANA LOCALES AS RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES
Cities of Covington, Crowley, Lake Charles and Thibodaux, Parishes of St. Landry, Natchitoches and Jefferson selected in first year of program
Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, who oversees the Louisiana Retirement Development Commission, has launched a new initiative to bolster Louisiana as a premier retirement destination. The program, Redefine Life. Retire in Louisiana. Certified Retirement Community, was designed to assist Louisiana cities and parishes in their efforts to attract and retain retired adults.
On Tuesday, May 8, 2007, the Lt. Governor joined elected officials and tourism industry representatives at a Baton Rouge news conference to announce the seven communities who will be certified in this first year of the annual competitive Process.
"We launched this initiative as part of our effort to make Louisiana a haven for retirees," Lt. Governor Landrieu said. "We are working to leverage our resources to help Louisiana communities send the message that they are an ideal place to retire."
Landrieu added, "Our state has much to offer retirees looking to relocate - including a low cost of living, a unique culture, and a warm climate. Louisiana is the best place in the country to live, work and play."
The communities selected include the cities of Covington, Crowley, Lake Charles, and Thibodaux. Parishes selected for retirement certification are St. Landry, Natchitoches and Jefferson Parish.
The selected communities receive inclusion in state-level marketing efforts, technical assistance, networking opportunities and funding to support the program. Matching grants of $10,000 will be awarded to seven communities during the first year. The funding supports the requirements of a participating community: strategic and annual action plans, marketing efforts, a community forum event and final report submission.
Angele Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism said the decision to develop and market Louisiana as a retirement destination was part of a strategic plan to develop Louisiana's economy. "Research suggests the economic impact of a retiree household is the equivalent of 3.7 factory jobs," she said.
Heather Reggio, Executive Director of the Louisiana Retirement Development Commission, said the selected communities would have special appeal to retirees. "From world class golf courses, to state-of-the-art medical facilities, to downtown districts steeped in history, our first seven certified retirement communities have much to offer," she said. "And retirees have much to offer these communities. As a group, retirees volunteer, give to charities, vote, and are active in civic life."
Commission members include Wes Burdine, DCRT Secretary Angèle Davis, Reverend Lois Dejean, Ed Dranguet- Chair, State Senator Lydia Jackson, Becky Lambert, Carol LeBlanc, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Sherri McConnell, Betty Stewart, and State Representative Diane Winston.