A variety of diverse industries in Shreveport collectively propel Northwest Louisiana’s thriving economy. From high-growth industries such as digital media and film to traditional, powerhouse sectors such as advanced manufacturing that are foundational to the region’s success, there are many reasons why Northwest Louisiana is truly a region on the rise. And industry experts are taking notice.
In 2012, KPMG, a leading U.S. advisory firm, named Shreveport No. 1 in the nation with the lowest costs for new business investments across a string of key industries. Learn more about some of the top Shreveport industries and the role they play in powering the economy of Northwest Louisiana.
Northwest Louisiana boasts an advanced, competitive manufacturing industry, in part due to the logistical advantages its unique location offers. Low land costs, multimodal transportation, access to several interstate routes and a regional airport active in international trade and commerce all offer companies a variety of advantages.
A vibrant industrial park adjacent to Shreveport Regional Airport and development-ready sites with reasonable prices such as those located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier attract new companies to the area, allowing for the continual development of new investment opportunities across the region.
Biotech and Life Sciences
The presence of Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy and the Biomedical Research Foundation form the foundation of Northwest Louisiana’s biotech and life sciences sector.
Companies such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Red River Pharma—recently acquired by Nestle Foods—are just a sample of the employers that have seen tremendous success in a rapidly growing industry.
The defense sector in Northwest Louisiana, led by the presence of Barksdale Air Force Base just south of Bossier City, is one of the region’s most important and visible economic assets. Barksdale alone employs more than 10,000 people and serves as one of the nation’s most strategic military installations.
In addition, the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park and its Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) support the sector by building a knowledge-based economy and developing programs like the Cyber Discovery Model. Created in partnership between the CIC and Louisiana Tech University to transform STEM- and cyber-based curricula through interactive learning, the program received a $2.35 million grant award from the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Digital Media and Software Development
The region’s digital media industry has grown into one of the country’s best-kept secrets. From Moonbot Studios—Louisiana’s first major animation studio and winners of the 2012 Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film—to Twin Engine Labs—a digital media and smartphone app development firm—Northwest Louisiana is rapidly turning into a hub for digital media.
Northwest Louisiana is also home to a rapidly-growing software development industry. CSC, a global provider of next-generation IT services and solutions, announced in 2014 that it will establish a 116,000-square-foot technology center and employ a workforce of more than 800 individuals at the 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Center in Bossier City—one of the largest technology projects in Louisiana's history.
Louisiana is a state that is universally known as one of the country’s strongest assets for oil and gas production; the state sits on immeasurable amounts of natural gas reserves that further solidify Louisiana’s place within the energy industry.
The Haynesville Shale, a natural gas field located in Northwest Louisiana and a key catalyst behind billions of dollars of investments and thousands of jobs, is just one example of the critical role the region plays in serving the energy needs of the nation.
Northwest Louisiana’s film industry has put the region on the map in a major way. A diverse talent and resource base coupled with some of the country’s most competitive tax incentives for film and digital media have propelled Northwest Louisiana into the forefront of consideration for film production. Big-budget productions and a veritable who’s who of A-list actors that consistently choose Northwest Louisiana have quickly become the norm thanks to the many resources the region has to offer.
Northwest Louisiana serves as a medical hub for the northern half of the state and east Texas and southern Arkansas. Collectively, this local industry employs more than 25,000 professionals, making access to health care in the region not just a clear advantage for residents but also positioning the industry as one of the region’s top economic drivers.
Major regional hospitals such as Willis-Knighten Health System and CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier offer a wide variety of services and are some of Northwest Louisiana’s top employers, while facilities such as Shriners Hospital for Children and the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center fill critical, specialized healthcare needs for those who live in the region.
In addition, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport serves alongside these facilities as an anchor point in the state for healthcare research and medical school education.