About NELEA

The Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance will be recognized as the primary economic development organization in Northeast Louisiana working regionally to link communities to opportunities, to jobs, and to maximize resources within the communities, state and federal government for the benefit, use and development of a strong regional rural economy.

Our Mission

Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance is a private, not-for-profit corporation utilizing local, state, federal and private resources and programs to enhance the available economic elements present in our region to promote and grow the regional resources leading to a vibrant economy. We provide technical assistance, loan programs, communication, education, community enhancement, marketing and business retention tools to enhance our economy. We preside as the Coordinating Responsible Authority for the Northern and Central Renewal Communities. By partnering with agencies, educational resources, local economic development, and our members, we will carry out the elements of economic development and initiatives for the betterment of our region and the creation of jobs. Our mission coincides with the mission and vision of the State of Louisiana and Louisiana Economic Development, a division of Louisiana State Government. Through these efforts, our core mission is to lift our 10 Parish Region from decades of poverty and unacceptable unemployment numbers.

Our Vision

Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance, one the eight state economic development organizations, is the primary economic development organization working regionally in Northeast Louisiana to link communities to opportunities and unemployed to jobs, provide tools of education for the underserved and job readiness through training, and to maximize resources and other opportunities within the communities and state for the benefit and development of a strong regional rural economy.

Our History

Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance started as a membership organization of a handful of Parishes whose leadership recognized that our region had little strength in economic development as separate entities. None of the original Parishes (Concordia, Tensas, Franklin, Catahoula, Madison, East Carroll) had the financial ability in and of itself to hire a professional economic developer. Yet the need for an organized effort and the desire to create jobs was common among all.

The organizers saw an opportunity to mutually benefit though applying for an Empowerment Zone designation. The award gave the newly organized effort a defined mission and wherewithal and with the management of the Region an opportunity to grow that effort. The effort was named Macon Ridge Economic Development Region, Inc., as members were located along the Macon Ridge, a large ridge that traversed Northeast Louisiana.

The organization grew in membership of Parishes, scope and ability. Under the Vision 2020 of Louisiana, regions of the state joined Louisiana Economic Development to solidify economic development efforts throughout the state. In 2003, the organization refined the mission, adopted strategies and charted a stronger course. In 2004, recognizing that branding the Region and a stronger identity was needed. The name was changed to Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance to better reflect the mission, the location and the effort.

We are now 10 Parishes strong and support our local economic development efforts, our joint objectives, and a strong regional effort. Importantly, we work together with Louisiana Economic Development framework, mission and vision to grow Louisiana together.