Oil industry executives, workers and advocates plan to head to the state Capitol next week for an annual effort to show support for the industry.

"The 2018 Louisiana Oil & Natural Gas Industry Day provides the people of Louisiana’s oil and natural gas industry the opportunity to get in front of state decision makers to let them know that the industry is important to Louisiana’s economy and its citizens," said Marc Ehrhardt, executive director of the Grow Louisiana Coalition.

The coalition, comprised of groups representing various segments of Louisiana's oil and gas industry, is leading the annual event.

The group is also set to release a study Tuesday in Houma that shows the impact the industry has on the state despite an offshore downturn that has stripped thousands of jobs from the Houma-Thibodaux area. Last year, the study says, the industry employed employed 44,580 people, paying them $4.3 billion in combined wages. The average wage of more than $96,500 is nearly double the state average.

Louisiana economist Loren Scott, who did the study for the coalition, is scheduled to discuss his findings during a meeting of the South Central Industrial Association. It's scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 142 Library Drive.

The guest speaker at April 24's Industry Day, meanwhile, is U.S. Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes, an LSU alumnus who will discuss the Trump Administration’s vision for the industry.

"It also provides a way to meet with legislators, network with industry professionals and learn the latest about the state of the industry in Louisiana and across the country," Ehrhardt said.

New this year, Industry Day will have several interactive components, including the chance to learn how oyster shells and the industry are protecting Louisiana's eroding coast. Participants can tour, via virtual reality, an offshore oil platforms, and activities for children and students will help encourage interest in science and technical education.

"Anyone involved or with an interest in the oil and natural gas industry is encouraged to attend," Ehrhardt said. "We anticipate a wide range of attendees, from school students to industry workers to top-level executives. Industry Day is designed so that everyone will receive valuable information, contacts and the opportunity to stand up and support our state’s largest employer."

Register at GrowLouisianaCoalition.com/2018IndustryDay or just show up at at noon April 24 at A.Z. Young Park on the state Capitol grounds. Free parking is available at Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, 1717 River Road, and a shuttle will take you to and from the park. For information, email info@growlouisianacoalition.com.