In December 2012 the Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation (BRSHF) began construction on its new Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior & Development at Louisiana State University’s (LSU’s) Innovation Park. Founded in 1960 in response to a rubella epidemic, the nonprofit organization offers clinically-effective therapies to children and adults with communication difficulties from the Greater Baton Rouge area, regardless of their ability to pay. As the primary provider of early intervention and education programs for children on the autism spectrum in southern Louisiana, the organization has outgrown its current facility due to great demand for its programming. The foundation’s current 9,000-square-foot building can accommodate 46 children with autism but has a lengthy waiting list. The new facility will increase that capacity to 100 children. The occupational therapy division will increase its capacity to 60 patients weekly. Services will be offered five days a week instead of the one day per week that is currently offered. The Emerge Center will focus on early intervention for children with autism between the ages of 18 months to 6 years. The new facility will feature an auditorium, an occupational therapy gym and 10 group-therapy classrooms. A pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classroom will serve up to 12 children at a time. The foundation is committed to serving those who have no other resource in the community. The quality and uniqueness of its programs and the reputation of its staff have also led many who can afford services elsewhere to utilize the foundation’s resources.
The Americana YMCA project was the construction of a 26,000 square foot community facility, with expansion capability of another 18,000 square feet, by the YMCA in Zachary, Louisiana. As a targeted population transaction, the project has created jobs, with at least 40% filled by residents of low-income households. The facility includes fitness space, a nursery, an outdoor pool and tennis court area and a 4,000 square foot community center. In addition to jobs, the project also provided needed community services through programs such as: the Black Achievers program, Healthy Kids Day program, childcare programs, before and after school care, youth sports, free health and wellness seminars, community health fairs, free meals to school-age children, the Homeless Outreach program and financial scholarships to people in need through the Changing Lives Campaign. The facility capacity is 650 average daily users.
$2 million NMTC investment enabled the company’s owner to realize manufacturing and exporting vision. An additional $3.16 million private capital invested in the company. Both allowed GAME to expand its facility to make the operation more efficient and to increase production.