Ouachita Parish is Northeast Louisiana's metropolitan statistical area of nearly 148,000 persons. The Parish includes the cities of Monroe, West Monroe, Sterlington and Richwood. It is part of the 8-parish region that makes up Northeast Louisiana, which provides additional access to labor, suppliers, ports and other resources.

The area's location on Interstate-20 makes it a natural for manufacturers and processors, warehousing/distribution, telecommunications and back office facilities or any business looking for access to major markets and a skilled labor force.

The Parish is home to a diverse group of businesses representing the paper and wood, telecommunications, insurance, plastics and medical services industries.

Businesses can benefit from the many resources in the region including easy access to Interstate-20, several ports and navigable waterways, skilled and available workers, technical colleges and universities, and low business costs.

The residents enjoy a quality of life in this northeastern part of the state. The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers a broad curriculum and numerous activities.

The area hospitals and medical facilities are focused on providing the highest quality care for the citizens of the region.

Ouachita Parish offers a way for both businesses and residents to live a good life through quality jobs and a pleasant lifestyle.

The Ouachita Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) is the principal economic development organization that leads the development in Northeast Louisiana's metropolitan statistical area. The organization was formed in 1989 after local officials and businesses determined the need to bring the various economic development factions in the area together so that efforts would have a unified focus.

The organization's strategic plan for the area clearly focuses on growth and diversification of the economy by working with existing industry and meeting the needs of potential new businesses looking for a quality location.

The OEDC is the organization to contact for expansion and location needs, labor issues, business incentives, financing options, and much more.