Dr. Loren Scott was the keynote speaker of the event. He spent the last three decades focused on economic matters. Dr. Scott is the President of Loren c. Scott & Associates, Inc, a 34-year old economic consulting firm whose clients include such large national firms as BP, Entergy, ExxonMobil, Nucor, Sasol, Chespeake Energy, and a diversity of others.
Looking ahead to 2019, he presents information that shows growth. "Typically, the national economy grows about 1.3%. We have Lafayette growing about 2.4%.
He said signs are showing major oil companies taking their operations back into the Gulf of Mexico. "We're already seeing the vehicle count on LA 1 going down to Port Fouchon picking up," he added.
This means the price will go up. He said it will average at least $80 a barrel of oil in 2020. "It has not been going up until this last month. You're finally getting a positive growth in employment," said Scott.
Huge contributors to economic growth in the Hub City is some of the city's big firms; like Acadian Ambulance, Stuller Settings, CGI and more.
"This has been a hard period. You've been in a recession that's cost you 10% of your job. Now there's hope which we have not had since 2015," Scott added.
The presentation mentioned another large firm coming to the region within the next six to seven months that will also generate more jobs.
According to Acadiana's regional employment statistics, there were 2,522 new jobs created since January 2018.
Looking ahead to 2019, he tells the public that the industry will soon create more jobs.