Growth. Development. $62 billion in capital investment. It's enough to make your head spin. That's the economic outlook for Southwest Louisiana. It's thanks to investments made by industries such as Sasol North America, Axiall, and Sempra LNG, as well as casino and agriculture expansions.
The boost to our economy is good news. As we've celebrated each multi-million dollar announcement, our community leaders have tackled how these changes will affect our community. There will surely be growing pains; namely, how will this affect key infrastructure like schools, roads, healthcare, and workforce development?
We checked in with the Go Group, our area's task force for managing the growth. Its 10 committees have been charged with finding solutions for the challenges ahead.
We also asked key community leaders from a variety of sectors to weigh in on their perspective of the growth. From the Lake Charles Airport to the Port of Lake Charles, their angles are noteworthy.
Of course, SWLA will never be all work and no play - thank goodness! It's Mardi Gras time. And, even better, it's the 35th anniversary of modern-day Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana! Apparently there were celebrations back in the 1800s; read the history in our story. Celebrate with us through pictures and stories of the revelry for the past 35 years.
February is American Heart Month; we look at the updated guidelines for blood pressure and how affect you, as well as how a lack of sleep and too much stress can both affect your heart health.
Speaking of your heart, how do you plan to celebrate the loveliest day of the year - Valentine's Day? We've got the lowdown on attraction through scent, specifically pheromones. Researchers are finding that love isn't always in the eye of the beholder; the nose plays an important role too. We're also looking at online dating trends and how to find love, even if your corner of the world is small.
This February issue also features the Event Planner insert. It will help you navigate all the details when hosting a celebration, including how to look great and still be comfortable. From gender reveal parties to what's trending with bridesmaids dresses, check out our Event Planner for all the helpful details.
It's all here: love, money, good health, and parties! We'd love to hear your thoughts on our February issue. Feel free to comment below or on our Thrive Facebook page. Happy reading!