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Leslie Durham, the Delta Regional Authority's Alternate Federal Co-Chairwoman, to Head New Agency to Help Local Governments With Infrastructure Planning Thumbnail Image

Leslie Durham, the Delta Regional Authority's Alternate Federal Co-Chairwoman, to Head New Agency to Help Local Governments With Infrastructure Planning

Louisiana's new economic development and planning agency the Louisiana Infrastructure Technical Assistance Corporation (LITAC) will be headed by Leslie Durham, who currently serves as alternate federal co-chairwoman of the Delta Regional Authority. She will be LITAC's executive director. She begins her new job October 1, 2022.

LITAC was jointly created by the Louisiana Municipal Association and the Louisiana Police Jury Association

The new organization will provide local governments in the most rural areas of Louisiana with funding to help plan their infrastructure needs. 

“We're trying to figure out how we can assist the most rural communities get access to federal funds, when they historically miss out, largely because of the lack of funds for planning and grant writing and match money for federal funds,” Durham said in an interview. “We will be providing planning and grant writing support training for grant writers and we have a matching fund that we will be granting to winning communities.”

LITAC will provide assistance to local governments for the full spectrum of infrastructure. Broadband access will be one of the categories of infrastructure that local governments can seek help for. 

The Louisiana state legislature created LITAC this summer. It is a 501-3-c non-profit that can engage in fundraising. The legislature started it off with $25 million. 

Police Juries in Louisiana are what Louisianans call their county governments. 

“I have been grateful for Leslie’s passion to serve our region and

her guidance in making sure we are meeting the needs of all communities within our region,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins in a statement. 

“Leslie’s passion for working on behalf of the Delta region is only trumped by her love for and devotion to the state of Louisiana. Her new role will give her the opportunity to work for the betterment of all rural Louisiana communities as well as create a working model for other states to follow. 

I am incredibly excited for her new opportunity that will highlight her leadership and tenacity in helping the people of Louisiana.”

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as Delta Regional Authority Alternate Federal Co-Chairwoman,” said DRA Alternate Co-Chairwoman Leslie Durham. 

“Even more so, being the first person from Louisiana and the first woman appointed is a badge I will cherish forever. I leave DRA in the most capable hands of its dedicated staff, with whom I have been working with off and on since 2005, and Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. 

In my new capacity as Executive Director of the Louisiana Infrastructure Technical Assistance Corporation, I will continue to work closely with Dr. Wiggins and his team as we collectively work to bring vital federal assistance to Louisiana’s rural communities. 

I am most grateful for the support I received from across the footprint since my appointment almost one year ago. 

I thank you, and I will never forget your love and support for me and our Delta."

To learn more about Durham's work and perspectives on successful infrastructure and broadband development, check out our recent interview with her in our Ready or Not podcast. You can also watch the interview on YouTube

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