Per-capita wages for those living in Rapides and Grant parishes grew at a blistering clip in 2005, enough for the area to rank fourth in the nation in personal income growth, according to a government report released Wednesday.Very good news indeed.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, estimates that for every man, woman and child in the Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area, income rose 8.2 percent in 2005 compared with 2004.
We who love this area have always known the potential of Central Louisiana, with a good waterway and rail network. We're still waiting for the roads to catch up, but infrastructure takes time.
With infrastructure, you need an educated, motivated labor pool. I'd stack the Central Louisiana work force against any labor, anywhere. But, skills are absolutely necessary to get the good jobs. For example, Union Tank Car (UTLX) is hiring workers to build tank cars and all the activity associated with building those cars, from engineers to welders to bookkeepers to maintenance staff, and their salaries are very good. But the company insistes on educated labor and the hiring process weeds out a lot of folks who don't have what it takes.
My advice to all teens is: Stay in school. Graduate. Get skills training or go to college. The payoff is down the road.