The Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc., formed in 1992, is Louisiana’s Business Roundtable of corporate executives and university presidents seeking to influence public policy affecting business and industry to make Louisiana more competitive.
According to Michael Olivier, Chief Executive of C100 and formerly Louisiana’s secretary of economic development from 2004 to 2008, the organization’s mission is to impact public policy to create a better Louisiana, a more competitive Louisiana. The Committee is composed of CEO’s throughout the state representing private sector companies and institutions of higher learning.
“Combined with our resources, both natural and people, we can do better, so we focus on issues that impact economic and business development like transportation, fiscal reform, education and public security,” said Olivier.
“Military and federal installations in our state are tremendous economic generators and job creators,” he said. “This is why C100 has supported Fort Polk for many years, including funding the economic impact study in 2010. We hope to continue our support through our engagement with Fort Polk Progress.”
“You’re about to vote on two constitutional amendments that were items included in our legislative package,” said Olivier, referring to the upcoming election.
Amendment #2 lowers corporate and individual sales tax. Amendment #1 involves the internet sales tax and streamlining local sales tax collections, he said.
Aside from tax reform, C100 is also focused on education. “Education is the number one way to gain a level of success over poverty,” said Olivier. “That means funding early childhood education adequately, improving K-12 education and funding higher education.”
“We have over 40 percent poverty; the only way we’re going to make that poverty disappear is by educating people, giving them access to education at an early age, improving their education K-12, and on into college and secondary education.”
C100 is operated by a 15-member executive committee.
“Obviously our members are very busy. They don’t need another meeting,” said Olivier. “What they want is to use their influence statewide to cause public policy changes to be made that will improve the economic and commercial circumstances in Louisiana to eliminate poverty.”
And being a member of Fort Polk Progress is one effort that will help accomplish that goal, he added.
“We want to demonstrate our partnership, our support for military and federal installations that are huge economic drivers in our state. Fort Polk radiates throughout the state. Some of the best employees in the world are people who retire or leave military service. Ultimately, this improves our workforce, and that’s what our members hope to achieve.”