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Sam's Spotlight 8/18/2021: Community Competitiveness Initiative (CCI)

I know that there is so much negativity going on right now in the world, that sometimes it can be very tough to stay positive; however, my goal in Sam’s Spotlight is to keep pressing forward and bringing you relative information of good things going on and with your community. Last week I mentioned the accolades we have received from being a Louisiana Development Ready Community (LDRC) and hinted at a new initiative we are working on with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) called the Community Competitiveness Initiative (CCI). So, this week’s spotlight will be on the CCI initiative - which raises awareness of the processes of economic development and the necessary factors to achieve success.

The introduction of the CCI is designed to enhance community competitiveness by focusing on economic development capacity and readiness at local levels. It provides community leaders with clear direction on specific resources needed to foster successful economic development while increasing collaboration between municipal, parish, regional, and state economic development practitioners. (Source:

That definition alone should tell you why this initiative is of high interest to me! Since becoming EDC for Franklin Parish, my goal is to work together with all leaders in the parish to foster more unity and work together for the betterment of Franklin Parish as a whole. The CCI is just another tool to help us do that.

Twenty indicators can gauge the economic development readiness of each community. These indicators were identified using economic development best practices along with input from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). For each indicator, communities can be identified by one of three stages of development: emerging, developing or achieving. With this information, the initiative can maintain an ongoing understanding of the economic development capacity of communities and identify potential improvements.

The information used to determine the economic development capacity of communities is primarily used for planning, allocating resources, and developing policies to enhance economic development in Louisiana. Not only can this process help communities identify opportunities for improvement, but it can also help to determine where LED should focus efforts and resources to help strengthen economic development capacity throughout the state. (Source:

We were privileged enough to have the Assistant Director of Community Competitiveness from LED, Mr. Robby Abboud, visit Winnsboro to facilitate and participate in discussion for the Community Competitiveness Assessment Form. We invited him to our Winnsboro Main Street Economic Committee Meeting held in July with several of our board members in attendance. We were able to complete the assessment as a group; we will next look to direction from members of the LED team to help us analyze and move forward with setting goals based on our results.

I am excited to see how this information can help our community, and I wanted you to know some of the behind-the-scenes things that we are working on for economic development. I promise to keep you updated with further developments in our progress with the CCI or other initiatives we are working on. Part of growing together is making sure everyone feels educated and familiar with the steps we are taking. As always, if you have any questions for me, please reach out!

If you would like to research more of the CCI for yourself, feel free to visit the LED website at

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight!

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! @franklinparish.econdev

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