LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation says they are working to bring job opportunity and growth to an underserved area in Acadiana.
“I want to attract new business to the area because we are developing a reliable, accountable, dependable workforce,” says
Johnathan Williams, the executive director of the ULEDF.
Williams wants to drive economic development but from a community standpoint. He says, “Any time we build a business in upper Lafayette territory, I want people who live there to have the access to the jobs that are coming.”
The board developed the hashtag #higherupperlafayette. Through community events, Williams said he hopes to be able to find those who are seeking employment.
The foundation wants to help with job training and worker support.
“The way that I see the foundation is being a foundation for community progress,” says Williams.
Within the area there are several vacant properties that need work. Including the old Winn-Dixie building in the Walmart on Evangeline Thruway which closed in March.
“I think we need to start with the areas that have been abandoned and putting together a plan. Not just the buildings, but homes that have been abandoned in the area as well,” said Williams. “Love where you are from. Take care of your home first. This is your home and your community and we create those values in the people that live in the area so that whenever new business comes they have some local people who want good jobs and good opportunity.”
ULEDF along with Jonathan Williams and his family is having a community event this weekend. It’s a diaper drive in honor of Williams’ son’s birthday.
Learn more about the foundation here.