City Grill

David HelvestonDavid Helveston
President and CEO
ABC Pelican Chapter

The construction industry in Lake Charles is experiencing one of its bigger booms in recent years, but the economic climate could be even stronger if the shortage of  skilled craft workers was resolved, Helveston says. In addition, officials should address the uncertainty surrounding investment-prohibiting incentives, such as Louisiana’s tax code.

Industrial expansions stand out in the city approximately 127 miles west of Baton Rouge. And because so many workers are coming to the area for these projects, the commercial, residential and infrastructure sectors are following closely, he says.

Two ongoing projects in the area include the Sasol and Cameron LNG plants. Construction is also scheduled to start on the I-210 bridge in 2019, he says.

Helveston hopes that projects will continue to increase in the commercial and residential sectors. “An increase in construction creates a ripple effect across Louisiana’s economy,” he says. “When this industry is thriving, those employees are spending their hard-earned dollars on local business, such as restaurants, retail and grocery stores.”