Money & Career
Money & Career
Whether you looking to land the perfect job or find out about the best way to save money, our Money & Career section is packed full of helpful, current topics each month.
 


11/30/2018 12:06:03 PM
Automatic teller machines are a fact of life for most of us. But when it comes to our money, it’s wise to play it safe. Consider the following tips when using an ATM.
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Categories: Finances
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11/30/2018 12:01:30 PM
A tipping guide to get you through the holidays.
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Categories: Finances
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11/30/2018 11:57:44 AM
This time of year can be pretty hectic for most people, and chances are, the last thing you want to think about right now is your taxes. Even so, it’s a good idea to take a little time to consider what you might be able to do as the year winds down to save on taxes.
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Categories: Finances
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10/30/2018 1:34:21 PM
Phantom power, also known as standby power, vampire power, or phantom load, is the energy used by certain plugged-in appliances and electronic devices, even when they are in standby mode or turned off. The most common culprits include household favorites such as electronics with remote controls, built-in clocks or timers, and instant-on features such as televisions, computers, printers, video game consoles, and DVD players.
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10/30/2018 1:29:43 PM
We walk, jog, hit the gym and eat right for the sake of our physical fitness. But what about our fiscal fitness? We can sock away money, manage our finances and stick to a budget in the same healthy spirit of self-improvement.
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10/30/2018 1:25:40 PM
In today’s competitive business climate, you’ve got to work harder than ever to stay relevant in any industry. You need to perform at a higher level than ever before, achieve better results, quickly recover from missteps, and garner the confidence to thrive in times of uncertainty. In other words, you need a modern-day skill set that gives you an edge over your competitors and helps you efficiently reach your goals.
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10/2/2018 1:37:09 PM
Several recent statistics indicate that Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, aren’t investing in the stock market. The percentages vary from study to study, but all agree that more than half of the Millennials population shy away from putting their dollars to work for them on Wall Street. The children of the stock-loving Baby Boomers who helped fuel the thriving market in the 1990s, haven’t yet developed a solid relationship with the market like their parents did.
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Categories: Finances
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10/2/2018 1:30:58 PM
Texas native, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, and television host Tamron Hall will be the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Women’s Commission of SWLA Fall Conference, October 18, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Hall is best known as a co-anchor on the Today Show from 2014 – 2017. 
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Categories: Career
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10/2/2018 1:26:35 PM
For most people, family life and professional life are two entirely separate things. Dustin Granger and Danielle Granger Nava aren’t most people.
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8/28/2018 11:26:45 AM
Self-employed business owners, freelancers, and independent contractors may be familiar with settling in at the library or a local coffee shop to work on a project. But sometimes their needs exceed what those locations can provide. If they lack a brick and mortar office, they may need a professional place to work. For these people, co-working spaces offer a solution. 
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8/28/2018 11:22:54 AM
Millennials came of age during the Great Recession of 2008, causing an influx of young people to move back home due to rising student loan debt and an inability to find stable employment. A common trend for Millennials is to delay typical rites of passage such as marriage, having kids, and homeownership, instead focusing on their careers and getting their financial lives in order.
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8/28/2018 11:05:44 AM
What do you think of when you hear the term "self-improvement”? If you’re like a lot of people, you might imagine working your way through giant stacks of self-help books, starting an intensive new exercise regimen, or devoting more time to charitable causes – all of which are certainly worthwhile ways to improve oneself.
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8/6/2018 11:33:48 AM
What’s in your wallet?  
Is it stuffed with crumpled currency and a wad of outdated, faded receipts?  Does loose change slide around the bottom of your purse and across the floor of your car?  If you answered yes, then it may be time to reassess your financial management skills.

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8/6/2018 11:25:57 AM
It’s no secret that many people avoid dealing with their finances in a responsible way. Even if your financial picture looks bright, procrastinating on money-related issues can cause you undue stress, anxiety, and unhappiness. And if you have serious money problems to contend with, avoiding them could cost you dearly someday.
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8/6/2018 11:22:03 AM
Two months ago, Lake Charles native Dr. Kim Hunter Reed took the role of Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education. She has a three-year contract during which time she has big plans to improve conditions for Louisiana’s post-secondary schools and the students who attend them.
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7/4/2018 10:34:05 PM
Regardless of the circumstances which may take someone to a family law attorney, divorce and child custody cases almost always start in a negative place. "Divorce is emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically draining,” says attorney Sean Corcoran, with Corcoran Family Law.
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7/4/2018 10:21:26 PM
Much like physicians or engineers, attorneys tend to be highly specialized. Just as you wouldn’t go to a cardiologist to have gallbladder surgery or want a chemical engineer to build the next I-10 bridge, you wouldn’t require the services of a criminal court lawyer to write up your will. It’s important to find a lawyer who is right for you, and that often depends on several factors. Follow these steps for your best legal outcome.
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5/31/2018 10:09:43 AM
One bit of conventional wisdom has it that to achieve success people must take a nose-to-grindstone, burn-the-midnight-oil approach. Personal happiness is an afterthought – if it’s a thought at all. But that’s the wrong way to look at things, says Scott MacDonald, a seasoned CEO and author of Saving Investa: How An Ex-Factory Worker Helped Save One of Australia’s Iconic Companies.
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5/31/2018 10:06:08 AM
When McNeese State University graduate Lindsey Johnson moved to Florence, Italy two years ago to work on a Master of Fine Arts from the Studio Arts College International (SACI), she knew that her days would be spent working long hours to prepare herself as an artist. 
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5/31/2018 10:01:30 AM
There’s a lot of competition in the business world. No matter how good your product is, you must continually come up with new ideas and marketing techniques to keep your product in the public eye, retain your clientele, and encourage new customers. Not an easy task.
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5/3/2018 10:08:12 PM
The digital age has transformed the American workforce in ways few imagined a generation ago. What began as interoffice email back in the 1990s has evolved to texting and instant messaging from a smartphone. The chirping, buzzing of the fax machine, once an office staple, has been silenced by PDF files that can be edited and signed with a digital signature.   
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5/3/2018 10:05:01 PM
Congratulations to the teens and tweens finding summer jobs. And cheers to those who work during the school year. But what happens to those paychecks and tips at the end of the month, or even at the end of the year? Some families depend on part of that money to make ends meet. For some, the money goes into an account for college or post high school plans. For others, who knows what happens to that cash beyond lattes, video games, and manicures?
Posted by Deborah Hacker Serra | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Finances
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5/3/2018 10:01:43 PM
There are currently 436,867 small businesses in the state of Louisiana, accounting for 99.5% of all Louisiana businesses. They employ 910,366 employees – over 50% of Louisiana’s workforce. But small businesses can’t do their vital work without the support of the community they call home. It’s a symbiotic relationship. In turn, small business success contributes to community growth.
Posted by Angie Kay Dilmore | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Career  |  Finances
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4/2/2018 10:14:18 PM
Gender discrimination and bias in the workplace has a national stage right now. Many women have a story about a negative experience in her workplace, regardless of industry. It is prevalent, it is common, and it is nothing new.
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4/2/2018 10:09:59 PM
Mayor Hunter’s focus on the future of small businesses in this community is greatly due to the fact that he, too, is a business owner. This first-hand experience has prompted the Mayor to examine what can be done to ensure that this community has a new crop of individuals willing to embrace business ownership as a career path. As a result, Mayor Hunter has decided to share his experiences and what he has learned as both a young entrepreneur and a restauranteur with young people in the community.
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4/2/2018 10:06:07 PM
Not many people get excited when tax season arrives, but the end result of a mind-numbing day of entering W2s and itemizing deductions can be a hefty tax return in your pocket. When that return hits your bank account, no one has to tell you twice to start spending it, but there are better ways to invest, save, and responsibly splurge when you have a few extra dollar bills. Chad Miller, COO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union, suggests following the 50-25-25 plan for your tax return.
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3/5/2018 1:57:02 PM
When the Quality of Life Task Force (QoL) formed in 2014, Chair Matt Young and Alliance staffer Amanda White had one thing in mind – to make our region better in small steps that would radiate outward to bigger changes.
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3/5/2018 1:50:52 PM
Appointed two years ago by newly-elected Governor John Bel Edwards to the post of Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Don Pierson wasted no time getting down to business. He had the background for the job, bringing more than 27 years of economic development experience with him.
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3/5/2018 1:32:49 PM
Here in Southwest Louisiana, we often hear about the significant number of new projects in the region. Indeed, the numbers are impressive! A 2016 figure from the national Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 8.1 percent, one of the fastest growing in the nation for metropolitan areas with populations less than two million.
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1/31/2018 5:24:50 PM
Navigating a career change can be tricky and frustrating. Whether the shift was planned or unexpected, it’s never as easy as you want it to be. Simply changing jobs can be tricky and tiring, but changing careers – especially into a new field or new focus – can be twice as tough! 
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1/31/2018 5:20:22 PM
Whether you’re chasing a dream job, sending out applications to multiple locations, or feeling completely clueless about the work market, preparation for an interview is the key to achieving a successful outcome. Before the big meeting, review these tips to increase your confidence and impress your potential new employer.
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1/31/2018 5:16:45 PM
As a young person, you’ve probably wondered how to best protect and build your credit. It seems that everything these days requires you have a good credit rating. From rental applications to buying a cell phone, your credit score comes up with some frequency.
Posted by Keaghan P. Wier | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Finances
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1/5/2018 3:44:31 PM
Imagine a typical weekday -- it’s already noon, and you haven’t checked a single item off your to-do list. Sound familiar? No worries. With just a few tweaks to your morning routine, you can learn to make the most of every minute.
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1/5/2018 1:41:47 PM
With mini-computers, aka smart phones, in our purses or back pockets, managing our money and making payments are only a couple clicks away. Most apps manage a user’s online payments by linking the user’s bank accounts and cards to an app account with its own balance.
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1/5/2018 1:27:15 PM
It’s that tedious task everyone dreads but we all must endure – taxes. While we understand it’s not your favorite subject, we’d be remiss if we didn’t try to help you through the process with expert advice and valuable resources. In this section, you’ll find hints on choosing a tax preparer, tips to avoid an audit, and a heads up on tax season scams.
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12/1/2017 5:28:08 PM


Many think time is an untamable entity that creates stressful lifestyles. However, wibbly, wobbly time can be managed from day to day. These tips for time management may relieve your time-related stress.

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12/1/2017 5:20:15 PM
Visiting with McNeese students this fall, I had a chance to share my experience in a STEM career and reflect on how the American spirit propels our success and prosperity as a nation and as individuals in our careers and communities. 

What do I mean by success? I am referring to our ability to make our way through uncomfortable places and difficult challenges in order to create something, to innovate, or to advance. Among the many contributors to success, three stand out in my experience.

Posted by Paula Gant, PhD | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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12/1/2017 5:09:47 PM
A lifetime of hard work may have rewarded you with a nice home and respectable bank accounts, but what happens to your assets once you’re gone? Perhaps you want to leave everything to your children. Maybe a charity, your church, or a cause you feel passionate about should get a portion. And what happens if, before you die, your mental capacity diminishes and you can no longer make decisions for yourself? Only thinking about your final wishes – or even discussing them with a close friend over lunch – isn’t enough.

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11/2/2017 1:25:36 PM
The first class of military veterans in the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program began coursework at the program’s inaugural boot camp today, with Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson, and other officials welcoming them at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center in LSU Innovation Park.

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11/2/2017 1:16:45 PM
In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a symbol of hope – creating jobs, and supporting the communities around them. In the same spirit of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, Saturday, November 25, 2017, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is Small Business Saturday -- a day to support small businesses for all they do for the communities and economies in which they serve.
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11/2/2017 1:14:17 PM
The holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re ready to sell your home, you’re in a tough position: Should you put it on the market now or wait until the holiday season — and maybe even winter — is over?
Posted by Andrea Mongler | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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10/2/2017 10:05:50 PM
Your personality dictates many of the things you choose to do socially, so factoring in the various facets of your personality when choosing a career seems like a no-brainer. Often, when students go to college or a trade school, they feel a bit lost in terms of making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. Many choose to go into fields of study that will pay a bit more lucratively, or they choose a career based on their family’s input.
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10/2/2017 10:02:00 PM
According to the Transportation Security Administration, there was over $531,000 worth of spare change left behind in the country’s airports just during 2012. Nearly every time we make a cash purchase, it results in spare change. Some of us let it jingle around in our pockets, while others drop it into the charity bucket next to the register, hoping it makes it to the featured charity. Even more of us let it pile up in our vehicles, waiting for a chance to put it to use. But what if that spare change, as small as it may seem, could actually add up to something big and make a difference in the world or give your family a fun vacation? 
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10/2/2017 9:54:36 PM
Most 20-somethings struggle with budgeting. The process can be intimidating because young adults are often not well versed in financial literacy. Fortunately, financial experts and websites like www.feedthepig.org can educate young adults on fiscal knowledge and how to create a sustainable budget. Butch Ferdinandsen, financial planner with Ferdinandsen Financial Group, says the foundation of a good budget is to not spend more money than you earn.
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8/31/2017 3:41:58 PM
With only three months left until Christmas, you may be looking at your bank account and wondering if you can afford it this year. Consider these six steps to add merriment to your family holiday.
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8/31/2017 3:36:08 PM
Even with a local growing economy, finding a job that is right for you can be a challenge. The days of merely sending in an application, resumé, and cover letter to a potential employer and then waiting for the phone to ring have gone the way of dot matrix and dial-up.
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8/31/2017 3:16:30 PM
It is a journey that crosses over many landscapes. From childbirths, job transitions, high school and college graduations, weddings, and beyond, planning for retirement can have many roadblocks, detours, and stops along the way. With good planning and tools in place, retirement planning can lead to great destinations. And, while starting early is recommended, people of all ages can benefit from planning for retirement, even if it is only a few years away. 
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8/3/2017 10:30:43 AM
For years, divorced couples have been surprised to discover that divorce papers didn’t separate their debt. They’re stunned by problematic credit reports reflecting their ex-spouse’s dodgy payment habits and angered when collection agents call for payment on debts that the ex was supposed to pay. The result can be an undesirable credit report for an otherwise responsible consumer.
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8/3/2017 10:29:14 AM
The moment the average person feels like they’ve caught up on bills and everyday expenses, their car’s transmission might go out, or maybe it’s time for back-to-school shopping. When we graduate college and get our first real job, we hope that living paycheck-to-paycheck is behind us, but for many people in Southwest Louisiana, it remains a reality.
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8/3/2017 9:49:43 AM
You’ve paid the tuition and fees, chosen a meal plan, and outfitted the dorm room with all the necessities. But there’s one more major expense you may not have planned for – the college bookstore and that list of required reading material.
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7/5/2017 8:59:05 AM
As part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline Program, CITGO has partnered with the Calcasieu Parish School Board (CPSB) and McNeese State University to bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to young minds through a hands-on learning experience called Engineering is Elementary (EiE).
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7/5/2017 8:55:19 AM
Finances may not be romantic, but it’s an important topic to discuss with your partner if you’re in a serious relationship or considering taking steps toward a serious relationship. One of the biggest financial mistakes couples can make is hiding financial information from one another. A 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association reported money as a top cause for stress among Americans. But financial discussions with your partner don’t have to be stressful. Below are stress-free tips to help you and your partner achieve and maintain financial success and stability. 
Posted by Felicite Toney | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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7/5/2017 8:37:27 AM
For many, hiring an attorney is a new, unfamiliar, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether it’s your first time venturing into the legal world or you’ve had some past experience, the process of seeking legal counsel to meet a specific need can be overwhelming. Law practices are divided into several overlapping categories that collectively form a representative framework for society’s civil justice system. From business and personal injury to bankruptcy and real estate law to family and divorce cases, each lawyer has a defined niche that offers a refined skillset to potential clients. Here are six areas of the most common types of law practice.
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6/1/2017 12:18:28 PM
Oh, the dog days of summer vacation. Every parent knows the struggle. Time slows to a crawl. Boredom ensues. Suddenly, the swimming lessons, park play dates, and summer camps are not enough to satisfy the boundless energy of youngsters.
Posted by Victoria Hartley-Ellender | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
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6/1/2017 12:15:40 PM
If you delight in perusing the clearance rack to score the best deals on those banana-yellow pumps you’ve had your eye on, and you loathe the thought of paying full price for most things (except for Community Coffee, because it’s just worth it), you may try working up the courage to haggle when you shop. 
Posted by Lauren Atterbery Cesar | 0 Comment(s) | Submit comment | Tell a friend
Categories: Finances
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6/1/2017 12:11:13 PM
It’s not unusual for careers to get off to wobbly starts as young people, hampered by their lack of experience and contacts, find it difficult to achieve a firm footing. For that reason, they should make it a goal to find mentors who could help guide them through the rough patches.
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5/4/2017 10:36:51 PM

So, you’re a smart, imaginative, persuasive millennial and – contrary to the bad rap your generation usually gets – you’re willing to work REALLY hard. You’re just waiting for all those boomers and Xers to get the heck out of the way so you can have your turn at the brass ring.


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5/4/2017 10:25:52 PM

No matter what your college major and desired career, jobs can be hard to come by. How do you break into an in-demand industry? According to entrepreneur Emily White, your dream career is within your reach. But if you want it, be ready to work for it. Internships can be a key step.


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4/5/2017 2:18:25 PM

A wise person once observed: it is not how much money you make, but how much you keep that matters. We earn reward points on our credit cards, store coupons on our phones, and search for bargains to "save” money. Why then do we resist calling on professionals who offer significant assistance that helps preserve more of our hard-earned money?



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4/5/2017 2:16:07 PM

Drive by any of Southwest Louisiana’s industrial plants and you’ll see enormous structures of steel and concrete. But what may not be so readily evident are the fingerprints of the company that designed and erected many parts of these plants.



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4/5/2017 2:11:52 PM
Paula Gant is a Sulphur hometown girl who, through hard work and steadfast confidence in her abilities, earned a PhD in economics from Auburn University and has had a remarkable career as an expert in the field.

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3/20/2017 4:00:43 PM

When it comes to economic expansion, there’s one corner in the state of Louisiana that is defying the financial turmoil facing the rest of the country. This region is in the early stages of what is predicted to be the most prosperous era in Southwest Louisiana’s industrial history — and Cameron Parish is leading the way.


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3/13/2017 9:53:37 AM

In full operation for two months, the Alliance for Positive Growth (APG) is gaining members from all sectors of the Southwest Louisiana business community at a rapid pace, growing from a founding group of eight members to over 50 since its launch meeting in mid-January.



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3/9/2017 10:03:56 AM

Mayor Randy Roach, after 16 successful years at the helm of the City of Lake Charles, is about to pass the leadership baton. This election, specifically the mayoral election, is pivotal in order for our region to continue the positive growth and direction exemplified by Mayor Roach. Key to electing the most qualified candidate is voter turnout. And we want you, as the voters, to be well-informed so you can make a knowledgeable decision. Our Election Preview summarizes each candidate’s’ platform and qualifications. Every candidate in the running was asked to submit their information to us for inclusion.



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3/9/2017 10:02:01 AM

Lake Charles Television, LLC recently announced that Lake Charles is now home to the first CBS Television Network affiliate in the market. Broadcasting began on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Viewers can watch "CBS Lake Charles” over the air on Channel 17, broadcasting in full 1080i High Definition, and soon to be available on DISH, DirecTV and cable provider Suddenlink. Previously, the fast-growing community of Lake Charles has been served by the outside markets of Lafayette and Beaumont.



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3/9/2017 9:58:14 AM

One of the biggest winners in this industrial boom will be the region’s small business owners. George Swift, president and CEO, Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said the region’s estimated $115 billion in new projects will be a boon to small businesses throughout Southwest Louisiana, as the Lake Area’s population is expected to grow considerably in the years ahead.



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2/6/2017 5:07:51 PM

Getting your finances in order is now only a tap away thanks to several new apps for smartphones.



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2/6/2017 5:05:13 PM

Meet the Smith family. Both parents work, and they make good money. From the outside, life looks good—a new Tahoe, a big house, and private schools for the kids. But, in reality, the Smiths are barely scraping by. With the help of credit cards and car loans, they spend more money than they make, and they’re just one financial emergency away from being in serious trouble.

Then there’s the Williams family. One parent works, and makes decent money, while the other stays at home and takes care of the kids. The Williams family lives on a tight budget—and even though they still have a lot of student loan debt, they’ve cut the balance in half during the last two years. They have a small emergency fund saved and expect to be out of debt completely in two more years.

So what is the difference between the Smiths and the Williamses? Why is one family able to pay off thousands of dollars in debt on a tight budget, while another family barely gets by week after week? Why does one person succeed with money, while another person struggles?



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2/6/2017 4:58:16 PM

Southwest Louisiana is home to numerous couples who both live and work together. Here, seven couples share their insight on how to succeed together, both personally and professionally.



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1/5/2017 10:29:15 AM

You know the aphorism about death and taxes. Like making and breaking New Year’s Resolutions, tax prep tedium is inevitable and frustrating. The good folks at the IRS wait, watch, and want it all done by the dreaded April 15 deadline. Lessen anxiety by getting all the necessary documents organized as soon as possible.



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1/5/2017 10:22:03 AM

The importance of women taking an active role in a couples financial planning represents more than just jockeying over who gets to control the checking account.



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12/6/2016 9:30:11 AM

Ideally, people investing for retirement should feel confident their financial advisors give them unbiased advice and recommend what is best for them.



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12/6/2016 9:28:05 AM

Think about how much debt your household owes. Chances are, it is not due to irresponsible spending or carefree habits. Instead it is likely that much of your debt was necessary to build credit, buy a house, or pay for medical expenses. Debt has become part of the American dream, and today the average American household owes over $130,000.



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11/1/2016 3:48:11 PM

Buying or selling a home is a rare event for most people. It might happen once a decade or maybe not even that often. Despite the fact that most people rarely deal with real estate, some consider themselves "armchair experts”.



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11/1/2016 3:41:37 PM

The Millennial generation includes those who were born between 1980 - 2000. Currently, they make up the majority of the workforce in the nation. While often labeled as entitled and lazy, this generation holds more college degrees than any other. Despite being well educated, many Millennials suffer financially due to college debt, skyrocketing rental prices, and stagnant wages. Even with these problems, Millennials manage to make the most of their financial situations by carefully monitoring and prioritizing their spending.



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11/1/2016 3:39:09 PM

Looking to buy a new car? Maybe your expanding family wishes to upgrade to an SUV. Or you have decided to trade in your college clunker for a sleeker sportier model. Better still, you are in the market for an eco-friendlier car, perhaps switching to a hybrid or fully-electric vehicle.

No matter the reason, timing is important to get the best deal. Generally, it is financially smart to buy a new vehicle near the end of the year for a lower price.



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9/30/2016 4:33:46 PM

Boss Day provides a great opportunity to show employers or supervisors appreciation for the fairness, patience, and dedication they show in the workplace. On Oct. 16, employees can let the boss know his or her efforts to keep the workplace a positive environment do not go unnoticed.



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9/30/2016 4:27:02 PM

Have you ever felt as if there is too much going on? Not enough hours in the day? Can not seem to find the time between the kids, work, and other commitments? How do the most successful people manage to conquer the world and do it all with ease?



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9/30/2016 4:24:01 PM

As the presidential elections heat up, so does political conversation.



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9/1/2016 5:40:12 PM

The economic expansion in Southwest Louisiana is not limited to big business. The large industry projects and expansion is generating the need for a multitude of support services and products, typically provided by small business. This trickle down effect provides great opportunities for new businesses and growth for existing businesses, says Jeff Mancuso, Senior Vice President of Corporate Lending with Lakeside Bank.



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9/1/2016 5:35:46 PM

Business owners in Southwest Louisiana are fortunate to be located near the SEED Center, a vital hub of economic development and resources for companies of all sizes. The acronym stands for Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development. There, businesses receive assistance from a variety of sources.



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9/1/2016 5:24:43 PM

Do you dream of starting your own business? Every successful company started out as a small operation, rooted in a dream of transforming skills, talents and passions into a bona fide livelihood. Owning a small business can be tremendously satisfying. You can follow your passion and make your own decisions. But it can also be risky and a tremendous amount of hard work with long hours. Most entrepreneurs though will tell you the rewards of owning a business outweigh the hardships.

An excellent way to get started is to learn from the experiences of others who have been through the arduous process of building a thriving business. Read below the accounts of several Lake Charles businesspersons as they share the ups and downs, the trials and rewards of owning a business. Take their advice and decide if hanging your own shingle is right for you!



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8/10/2016 12:42:36 PM

If you are looking for ways to improve job performance and increase career opportunities, then professional development may be the key to a brighter, more successful future. Professional development is the continuous process of improving work performance through education and training. It can be pursued through various avenues in and out of the workplace, and it needn’t be a headache. Here are five stress free ways to pursue professional development.



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8/10/2016 12:40:01 PM

You are in a business meeting and someones phone starts ringing. You are in a restaurant and your date is looking at her phone all evening instead of talking to you. It is the middle of mass and the guy at the end of the pew is texting with his buddies. We have become a society connected to our cell phones, but at what cost? While certainly convenient, we have developed bad habits around the incessant texting, emailing, calling and being connected 24/7.



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8/10/2016 12:37:08 PM

If you have not yet heard of the mobile gaming phenomenon, Pokémon Go, welcome back from the tundra of Antarctica. The augmented reality gaming app that prompts players to hunt for 151 different characters on their phones debuted on July 6, 2016 and has captivated the minds, attention spans, and wallets of gamers across the country. The app can be addicting, and if you feel inclined to catch a few Eevee when you are at work, you are not alone. An estimated (likely underestimated) 17 million employees admit to playing the game while on the clock. How can gamers balance this virtual scavenger hunt with a positive work ethic?



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7/14/2016 1:16:19 PM

Cotton Logistics celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony with the community last month at its OneLodge North Lake development located at 516 Prater Road, at the intersection of Old Spanish Trail and Prater Road, Sulphur, LA 70669. Special guests in attendance included elected officials, members of the Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the McNeese State University Foundation, who accepted a donation from the Cotton Foundation in honor of David Conner and his many contributions to the Southwest Louisiana area and McNeese State University.


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7/14/2016 1:14:35 PM

Money mistakes are made all the time, at the grocery store, the bank, in the housing market, the stock market... you get the idea. Some blunders result from a lack of knowledge; others result from human error and our tendency to work against our own best interests. The biggest snafus often involve those practices that seem harmless but end up negatively impacting your overall financial health.


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7/14/2016 1:13:14 PM
The economic benefits of Sasols ethane cracker and derivatives project, now under construction in Westlake, Calcasieu Parish, are already being felt across the region and thestate, according to a study commissioned by Sasol and conducted by economist Dr. Jim Richardson. Jobs and revenues being generated by the projects construction are projected to grow over the next fewyears, and benefits created by project operations will sustain for at least three decades.
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6/15/2016 3:26:14 PM

The skyrocketing cost of college education means that most students consider student loans an appealing option to afford the education of their dreams. Does a decision to take on this debt affect a students later ability to purchase a home?


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6/15/2016 3:23:12 PM

"The greenest building is the one that is already built,” architect Carl Elefante once said. While other industries in southwest Louisiana are expanding by building new facilities, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a world-leading producer of intermediate petrochemicals, is currently refurbishing a dormant 1942 ethane cracker facility on approximately 250 acres in Calcasieu Parish. "We plan to upgrade the facility utilizing the best technology and practices in our industry including a comprehensive inspection, repair and refurbishment of all existing equipment within the facility,” said Deepak Kedia, Chief Operating Officer of Indorama Ventures.


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6/15/2016 3:19:56 PM

When it comes to choosing a candidate for a new job or a promotion, employers consistently say they want a team player, but what does that really mean in a business setting? How can an employee prove they are valuable to the team?


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5/12/2016 3:09:29 PM

The newly minted Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration degree will begin this summer in SOWELA Technical Community Colleges School of Business and Applied Technology. Students can earn the degree on campus or online.


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5/12/2016 3:08:12 PM

Networking is a small nightmare for many. The more businesses move to a global mindset, the more would be employees and creatives expand the scope of their networks and it will no longer cut it to follow the old script of showing up at a small trade show, flashing a few smiles, bantering through some small talk, exchanging business cards and shaking hands. If you are going to stay afloat and competitive in this world, you have to find inventive ways to expand your reach and make new connections.


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5/12/2016 3:06:32 PM

The art of complaining has changed significantly over the years. In the old days, you would begrudgingly approach a manager, bellyache to your spouse, or write a tersely worded letter. But todays society is immediate, with short attention spans and little patience, not to mention the frightening beast of social media, which has given disgruntled complainers (of which there are many) a worldwide platform to air their grievances.


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4/4/2016 4:50:53 PM

When it comes to attaining success, the biggest hurdle or enemy is often ourselves. Even if you are a hard worker and can see the rewards on the horizon you may be unable to latch onto success because of deep lying fears and insecurities.