New Orleans Industries

The economy in Southeast Louisiana is thriving, due in large part to its established network of New Orleans industries and the key companies that comprise them. In 2013, Southern Business & Development ranked New Orleans No. 1 in the South for total number of large investment projects over the course of the past decade, pointing to the strength of the Southeast Region’s diverse economy.

In line with the regional economy, the industries in New Orleans and throughout Southeast Louisiana are varied — ranging from traditional energy production and distribution-related industries to growth in cutting-edge technology and digital media, a trend that has firmly established the area as a national leader in the IT and digital arenas.

Advanced Manufacturing

Southeast Louisiana's advanced manufacturing sector is a hub for the production of military transportation vehicles, including armored security vehicles, space craft, civilian and military aircraft, and naval and commercial vessels.

Powered by a skilled workforce and a pro-business climate, the region is home to top companies such as Textron Systems’ Marine & Land division, a global leader in the design and assembly of high-tech armored combat vehicles and marine craft that employs a workforce of more than 1,000.

NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, located in New Orleans, has been a powerhouse for manufacturing in the region since the 1960s. The 43-acre site is home to one of the world's premiere spacecraft manufacturing facilities that supports major projects such as NASA's multibillion dollar investment to construct the next generation of space launch systems. In addition, companies such as Lockheed Martin utilize the mega-site to manufacture large storage tanks for liquefied natural gas companies.


Southeast Louisiana is rapidly developing a strong presence in the biosciences and the digital health sectors, led by New Orleans’ Downtown Medical District. A growing area for medical research and innovation in health care, the Medical District spans 2.4 square miles and collocates a strong university presence with private companies overseeing a variety of cutting-edge research.

Tulane University and LSU Health New Orleans are just two of the higher education institutions that are strong contributors to the region’s biosciences industry, including the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, a state-of-the-art 180,000-square-foot research facility located in downtown New Orleans that exists as a collaboration between Tulane’s Health Sciences Center, LSU Health New Orleans, Xavier University and Ochsner Health System.

In addition, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, also located within this fast-growing medical corridor in downtown New Orleans, provides bioscience and digital health entrepreneurs with an outlet to commercialize research and receive technical assistance to bring sector-based products and solutions to market.

Digital Media

The region's eclectic culture fosters a creative atmosphere, and as a result, the New Orleans area is emerging as a hub for innovative technology in digital media. Companies such as the New Orleans-based Turbosquid, a digital media supply company that operates an online marketplace for 3-D graphics, and Gameloft, one of the world’s leading mobile game developers, are just two examples of digital media firms thriving in Southeast Louisiana. In addition, collaborative workspaces and business incubators like Launch Pad provide 11,000 square feet of space in downtown New Orleans for creative entrepreneurs to build and grow digital businesses in Southeast Louisiana.

Emerging Environmental

Guided by billions of dollars in area investments and a $50 billion master plan for coastal Louisiana, the region’s emerging environmental industry sector is a growth area for the region that is establishing the New Orleans area as a hub for businesses seeking to solve environmental challenges across the world.

South Louisiana, referred to by many as “The Netherlands of the U.S.” due to recent successes in regional and state-driven efforts to utilize world-class science in creating sustainable solutions for water resource management, is quickly becoming a hub for innovation and sustainability in the sector led by partnerships between area universities and private sector businesses. A diverse mix of innovative entrepreneurs and some of the largest companies in the world are currently operating in the New Orleans area, working to create exportable solutions to address some of the greatest global water resource challenges and create resilient communities across the world.


Louisiana is a dominant force for domestic energy production, and Southeast Louisiana in particular is home to a thriving energy sector that is a top contributor to Louisiana ranking No. 2 in the nation for production of crude oil and natural gas.

The New Orleans area’s unique geographic location serves as a key differentiator for the region, providing companies with a sophisticated, multimodal transportation system, access to a wealth of natural resources and qualified workforce with decades of experience in the industry, along with a number of area universities and colleges that offer specific degree programs focused on the energy sector. Some of the world’s largest energy production and support service companies maintain a presence in Southeast Louisiana, including ExxonMobil, Shell, Valero Energy Corporation and Dupont, among others.


Louisiana is also quickly becoming the premiere location for feature film projects and was the international leader for films produced in 2013.

New Orleans in particular is a popular choice for movies and film locations thanks to some of the most competitive film incentives in the nation, a skilled local workforce and a mild climate with accessible and varied locations.

Recent major motion pictures filmed in Greater New Orleans include The Butler, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 21 Jump Street, Jurassic World, Focus, as well as the hit HBO series Treme.

International Trade

Greater New Orleans is a logistics hub, home to the largest port system in the world and one of the most integrated, well-connected transit systems.

The Port of South Louisiana, located in LaPlace, accounts for 15 percent of all U.S. exports and contains an inland barge system responsible for moving more than 278 million short tons of cargo, while the Port of New Orleans is one of the top ports in the nation for coffee, natural rubber and steel and is responsible for supporting more than 160,000 maritime-based jobs across Louisiana.

In addition, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport provides distribution and transit operations with quick, convenient access to destinations across the world. In 2013, the airport saw the completion of more than $300 million in upgrades and renovations, while an additional $800 million in airport enhancements is currently planned for completion by 2018.

The region’s multimodal system also boasts access to all Class I railroads operating in North America, providing companies with a number of options for transporting goods across the U.S. and to global destinations.


NASA Michoud Assembly Facility




New Orleans BioInnovation Center


GE Capital


Port of South Louisiana