SLIDELL, LA -- Slidell boasts an expanding economy based on two major factors, the city's location and its jobs.
"Slidell is really a little less than 30,000 people. But it represents almost 85,000 people in that area, supports $3 billion in an economy for us," Chris Masingill says.
Masingill is the CEO of The Saint Tammany Corporation, an economic development group that works across the parish to attract and grow businesses. Masingill says Slidell is a solid competitor to attract new business, but his group also works to expand companies that already call the city home.
As far as location goes, the city has three stretches of interstate running through the area, I-10, I-12, and I-59. It also has NASA facilities in nearby New Orleans and Mississippi to go with the Textron company and Advanced Sinter Metal Technologies that are inside its city limits, all of which draw a tech-based crowd of residents and employees.
The Saint Tammany Corporation also works to expand the businesses that already call the city home. Recently, in conjunction with state and parish workers, the Slidell Municipal Airport announced a plan to removed a stretch of power lines in the area that will lead to longer runway availability and the ability for larger planes to land.
The city also has a successful retail community, including the area growing around Fremaux Town Center.
"We have the assets, we have the talent, and we have the geographical location to make businesses successful," Masingill said.
Also, with one of the top school districts in the state, the city's public schools are top-notch. As far as crime goes, a recent report ranked Slidell as the seventh safest city in the state.
"We like to say in Slidell and Saint Tammany Parish, this is a place where you can work, live, pray and play," Masingill said.