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Hammond becomes Metro Area

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Meant to post this article from 3 months ago...there has been much debate here on UP if Hammond/Tangipahoa Parish was part of the New Orleans MSA or Baton Rouge's? Had said it was kind of stuck in "no-mans" land


Scroll to the included of other state Metro's


"New Kid on the Block"


The state’s newest metro includes one parish — Tangipahoa — but one with broader regional aspirations.


The Census Bureau estimated Tangipahoa’s 2013 population at 125,412. BLS officials estimated Tangipahoa’s November labor force at 50,014.


“We’re now competing against other MSAs,” said Lacy Landrum, Hammond’s director of administration. “This helps us regionalize. It helps us reach out to potential (development) partners.”


Landrum said planners in Tangipahoa Parish had known for at least two years the MSA designation was on its way. “We weren’t really surprised,” Landrum added. “Our census numbers had hit the right threshold.”


Herb Holloway, research economist for the Business Research Center at Southeastern Louisiana University at Hammond, said the new metro will have access to employment and occupational data that is only available at the MSA, state government and federal government levels. That’s important to business owners, civic and community leaders, as well as government officials, Holloway noted. He said some of that information is released in advance for MSAs.


“Both of these changes will help local governmental and business leaders have a better, quicker gauge of how the local economy is doing and monitor trends in the workforce,” Holloway said.

Those changes are significant, he emphasized, because they “can only help the decision-making processes of small-business owners and startup businesses.”


Hammond’s MSA may be small, but Holloway said it fits OMB’s requirements. He quoted from OMB rules: “Metropolitan Statistical Areas have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.”


Local officials were “very involved with the process a few years back of getting the Hammond-Ponchatoula area classified as an urbanized area,” Holloway recalled. “As seen in the OMB definition … having an urbanized area is the first step to MSA designation.”


From her city office, Landrum noted the MSA designation does not help an area obtain federal transportation money. She added, though, the urbanized area designation helped open that particular source of funding for the Hammond area.


Though small, the Hammond area received a boost in November 2013, when state and municipal officials announced Crest Industries would build a $15 million galvanizing plant near Robert. The facility was expected to hire 70 full-time employees, spin off another 95 indirect jobs and begin operating this year.


In December 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to contribute $800,000 toward construction of a control tower at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport.


At the same time, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development kicked in another $750,000, and Hammond handed over another $350,000 for the project.


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This is really good news, I can see this benefiting Baton Rouge long term.

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