What's the difference between 1,000 jobs coming to Acadiana and 1,000 jobs going somewhere else? If you ask officials with the Port of Iberia they believe that difference is about two feet. Okay, to be more precise, dredging the port and canals to make them about two feet deeper.

Port of Iberia officials say the dredging operation is scheduled to begin in April and the hope is that action plus the purchase of additional acreage around the port will lead to more job opportunities for residents of Acadiana. The deeper the canals, the larger the projects. The larger the project, the larger the need for manpower.

Dredging is not the only operation that port officials are counting on to bring in more work for Acadiana companies. The port recently secured an additional 146 acres of property adjacent to the facility. Current plans call for about 40 acres of that land to be used for a new canal to make access to the facility easier.

The plans for dredging the Port of Iberia have been a work in progress for about ten years now. Over those ten years, the port has seen opportunities go to places like Houma and Seattle because of the depth of the canals. Once dredging is complete that problem should be solved and companies at the port can begin working to secure some of those jobs that would have gone elsewhere in the past.