Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
For the second year in a row, an economic development organization headquartered at UL Lafayette was presented with a Lantern Award from Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association.
Governor Kathleen Blanco presented the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPoL) with the 2004 Lantern Award for the non-profit/institutional organization category during a reception in May. The Center for Business and Information Technology (CBIT) at UL Lafayette won the 2003 Lantern Award in the same category.
“ The team at MEPoL is very proud of being named the 2004 Lantern Award winner by Governor Blanco, who is truly showing herself to be a champion of good jobs for our state,” said Van Landry, the director of MEPoL. “The award is a well deserved recognition of the hard work and commitment of the staff at MEPoL, as well as the commitment of Dr. Authement and the significant resources UL Lafayette has committed to the state's economic development. It is very important to note that in the two years of the category for non-profit organizations, UL Lafayette centers, CBIT and MEPoL, have been named.”
Lantern Award winners are chosen based on the organization’s success, as well as its contributions to the economy and the quality of life of all Louisianans. The winning criteria are based on the top three goals outlined in Louisiana: Vision 2020, which is the master plan for economic development for the state.
The three goals include increasing knowledge of businesses, institutions, and citizens; building an economy by a diverse set of technology-intensive industries; and having a standard of living among the top 10 in the U.S. for Louisiana’s citizens.
“ It’s wonderful to see MePoL honored this year and it was wonderful to see CBIT honored in this category last year. Both agencies work diligently to improve the economic development of this state and both are well-deserving,” said UL Lafayette President Ray Authement.
MEPoL’s mission is to increase the productivity and profitability of Louisiana’s manufacturing firms by providing business and technical assistance. The statewide organization is an affiliate of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Since it began operations in 1997, MEPoL has provided services to more than 550 Louisiana businesses.
Winners of the 2004 Lantern Awards were presented with copper lanterns made in Louisiana by the skilled craftsmen at Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights in New Orleans, a company that is also a MEPoL client. For more information, contact MEPoL at (337) 482-6767, or toll-free at (800) 433-6965.