Executive Director's Message
By Chuck Penn
The future continues to look bright for the construction industry in Northwest Louisiana. That statement comes as the result of an observation of the strong trends currently enjoyed by the regional economy's several major contributors.
The petroleum industry, a long-time economic heavyweight for the region, has returned to prominence with oil and gas prices at or near all-time highs. Rig counts indicate a dramatic increase in exploration activity.
Local contractors and subcontractors continue to reap benefits from the ongoing expansion in the retail sector. Major construction projects in South Shreveport and along the Airline Drive corridor in Bossier City are progressing and indications are that the trend will continue.
The expansion and renovation of medical facilities within the region provide construction opportunities as the area continues to grow as a regional healthcare hub. All area hospitals are undergoing expansion and renovation programs with additional projects planned for the near future.
Public entities such as city governments; parish school boards, commissions, and police juries; Caddo/Bossier Port Commission; Louisiana DOTD and Facilities Planning; and others all require services that our member contractors provide. The proposed extension of Interstate 49 to the Louisiana-Arkansas border has the capacity to provide a tremendous long-term boost to trade and commerce. Barksdale Air Force Base, a major contributor to the regional economy, has several projects underway with more on the drawing board. Currently, the base is in the running for a Cyber Command Center which has the potential to provide up to 10,000 jobs and a wealth of construction dollars in the near future.
AGC-Shreveport Chapter will continue to play a key role in maximizing those opportunities for its members. Local general construction firms, subcontractors, and suppliers need to come first when construction dollars are spent in the local community.
The member services provided by AGC Shreveport are designed to foster a continuing upgrade of industry quality. The plan room, coupled with the electronic informational services through a partnership with McGraw-Hill Dodge, furnishes state-of-the-art access to construction documents. Safety training programs, along with the OSHA partnership, help to ensure a safer workplace. Training courses and seminars provide continuing education for Superintendents and Project Managers. The Chapter strives to secure a "level playing field" for its members and serves as an informational clearinghouse for construction firms within the region. Scholarship programs support university education in industry-related fields. Social functions such as an annual golf tournament, fish fry, crawfish boil, and Christmas party provide networking opportunities.
AGC Shreveport is an organization dedicated to providing leadership for the construction industry. Perhaps the Chapter's greatest asset is the high level of ethics which our members not only employ in business practice, but also in personal conduct. That asset is one handed down from the Chapter's forebears to the current generation of contractors and provides for the enjoyment of a healthy business environment. It is certainly an honor for me to represent gentlemen of such fine caliber and character.