ThinkBigger Image

2016 saw the launch of BRAC’s new five-year strategic plan, the Think Bigger campaign. Pushing boundaries, and truly thinking bigger, BRAC identified four overarching goals to accomplish in the next five years: grow and diversify the Baton Rouge Area economy, cultivate the region’s talent, transform the Baton Rouge Area’s quality of life, and elevate the region’s external image.

To share with investors, business owners and community members the organization’s progress, BRAC releases an annual report each year detailing efforts towards its goals. This spring, BRAC released the 2016 Annual Report, the first of the Think Bigger campaign.

Read highlights of the report below, or view the complete 2016 Annual Report online.

Grow and Diversify the Baton Rouge Area Economy

BRAC continuously strives to enrich the Capital Region’s economy with new businesses, which provide many jobs and assets to the community.

In 2016, BRAC:

  • Obtained eight project wins, resulting in 884 jobs with $44.3 million in payroll and $362.5 million in capital expenditures
  • Visited 201 existing companies to connect them with growth opportunities for their business
  • Assisted eight startups with connections to regional business growth assets and offered assistance with business planning, market research and space at incubators
  • Engaged with nearly 60 companies to create partnerships around K-12 education, workforce, innovation, and assistance for entrepreneurs and startups

Cultivate the Region’s Talent

To grow the area’s economy, there must be investment in the region’s own talent. Through strong training initiatives, investment in education and deliberate retention efforts, BRAC seeks to create a diverse talent pool for the region.

In 2016, BRAC:

  • Facilitated 147 talent attraction and retention engagements, including 32 executive candidate tours and group tours with some of the region’s biggest companies and nonprofits
  • Allowed Baton Rouge Area workers to share their expertise with more than 600 students in the region through BRAC’s Virtual Schoolhouse
  • Launched a pilot initiative, InternBR, to provide area interns with professional development training
  • Developed the BRAC Micro-Enterprise Credential in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education to prepare high school students to become small business owners and employees

Transform the Baton Rouge Area’s Quality of Life

Quality of life has a direct impact on positive economic growth. People and businesses are drawn to places that can offer access to quality education, a clean and beautiful environment, and sound infrastructure.

In 2016, BRAC:

  • Worked to achieve funding for two priority projects: the widening of I-10 between Highland Road in East Baton Rouge and LA 73 in Ascension Parish, and the relocation of the Washington Street exit
  • Announced its engagement in “quality of place” initiatives, a catch-all term for an area’s physical appearance, development and sense of character
  • Saw Baton Rouge place 4th in Business Facilities magazine Quality of Life Index for 2016
  • Supported THRIVE Academy legislatively in its efforts to become a state-authorized charter

Elevate the Region’s External Image

The Baton Rouge Area’s identity can shape the decisions of people and businesses considering a move to the Capital Region. By telling the Baton Rouge story, BRAC plans to define the area’s image and show outside audiences the benefits of this region.

In 2016, BRAC:

  • Partnered with the Baton Rouge Business Report to increase readership of Catalyst by 300%
  • Commissioned research on perceptions of the Baton Rouge Area to formulate a targeted strategy towards external image
  • Launched the #thinkBR campaign, which highlighted eight area professionals’ Baton Rouge stories, to increase retention of talent and positive perception of the region internally

Written by Morgan Kastner

Morgan Kastner is BRAC’s marketing coordinator. She develops marketing material, manages projects and ensures organizational messages are consistent. Additionally, she assists the senior vice president of marketing and supports the marketing team.