Known as “The Crossroads” of Louisiana, due to its central location in the state, the area brings together everything from a diverse business atmosphere to multifaceted cultural offerings.
The population is on the rise and stands at just under 370,000 currently, with Rapides Parish holding the largest concentration at 128,462. The region, comprised of eight parishes, is within easy reach of its surrounding states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas, as well as the rest of Louisiana and its major roadways and further means of transportation.
Central Louisiana enjoys a deep heritage and is only second to the vibrant city of New Orleans for the number of sites listed on the National Historic Register. Today, 32 historical markers dot the map of the vast region.
The area’s business environment is very eclectic, ranging from its strong agricultural industry to large corporations such as CLECO, Proctor and Gamble, International Paper and Union Tank and Car. Alexandria and Pineville hail as Central Louisiana’s hub for medical, cultural, financial and commercial ventures, and the area continues to attract new and expanding businesses each year.
Aiding in the progressive business climate is the region’s excelling educational systems. Primary and secondary schools have inputted several excellent educational programs for students in Central Louisiana, gradually raising test scores and literacy levels. Some of these programs include the LEAP for the 21st Century test, the K-3 Reading and Mathematics Initiative, Reading Excellence grants and the Class-Size Reduction Program. Higher learning can be found within the area as well, with the Learning Center for Rapides Parish, Northwestern State University in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana State University in Alexandria and the Louisiana Technical College-Alexandria Campus.
Recreation is abounding, with the Kisatchie National Forest and numerous lakes and rivers encompassing the area. Nature lovers take pleasure in the area’s recreational opportunities – hiking, biking, camping, boating and fishing are just a few outdoor activities that can be found throughout the eight-parish area. Top fishing spots include Lane River Lake in Natchitoches Parish, Iatt Lake in Grant Parish and Kincaid Lake and Cotile Lake in Rapides Parish.
All of this, coupled with reasonable home prices, top-rated healthcare systems and stocked retail districts have made Central Louisiana a popular place to locate, for both residents and businesses, as well as to visit with family. The area has something to suit every lifestyle and welcomes everybody to experience all that Central Louisiana has to offer!