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Blanco Center, One Acadiana announce strategic partnership

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The Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center has started 2021 with a new partner.

The policy center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and One Acadiana have formed a strategic partnership to advance the organizations’ shared missions.

Both work to improve and inform local, regional and state policies, and the agreement “will ensure alignment of staff and other resources to strengthen their collective impact,” the organizations said in a joint press release announcing their affiliation.

Troy Wayman, One Acadiana president and CEO, said he is “confident the work produced through our partnership with the Blanco Center will have a meaningful impact on the future economic growth and competitiveness of our region.”

He continued: “One Acadiana is proud to join forces to create smart solutions that will continue to make Acadiana an attractive region for business investment and job creation. This partnership further strengthens our already fantastic relationship with UL (Lafayette) and presents an important and critical opportunity to enhance our region’s competitive position through the advancement of our shared policy goals.”

The partnership will focus initially on the continuation of projects to increase educational attainment, bridge the digital divide, and enhance economic opportunity.

Future collaborations between the organizations will aim to expand the scope to other initiatives that use evidence-based public policy to make Acadiana and Louisiana a better place to live and work, said Dr. Stephen Barnes, the Blanco Center’s director.

“This new partnership with One Acadiana reflects the Blanco Center’s commitment to bringing research to action. One Acadiana is known as a leader not only in the region, but across the state, in utilizing data to guide policy and drive change.

“With this new partnership, the Blanco Center will help push that further by offering expanded access to research and in-depth analysis to inform policy and the work of One Acadiana,” Barnes said.

One Acadiana is the leading economic development organization for the nine-parish Acadiana region.

The Blanco Center contributes interdisciplinary, independent research to a host of public policy areas, including criminal justice reform, poverty and economic opportunity, governmental ethics, and education.

The center was established in 2018 in honor of Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a UL Lafayette alumna and the only woman to serve as Louisiana’s chief executive.