Tuesday, April 02 2019
Development-ready locations attract industrial projects throughout the state
When Germany-based manufacturer VEGA went looking for an industrial site to house a new production center in the U.S., it studied locations throughout the South. The Grezaffi North certified site in Geismar, Louisiana, fit the bill, providing VEGA Americas with the right acreage, utilities, transportation solutions and other amenities to help the company get up and running. The development-ready site, along the Mississippi River downstream from Baton Rouge, helped Louisiana win the project – and its 120 new direct jobs – over a location in south Texas and other southern locations.
“The proximity to the chemical corridor was key in our investment decision,” VEGA Americas President Ron Hegyesi said when the $22.4 million project was announced in December 2018. “This location will be a hub for North America, Central America and South America.”
More than 200 miles north, Louisiana Economic Development facilitated a multi-faceted project that partnered Graphic Packaging International and DHL Supply Chain in a combined $274 million capital investment. The companies considered Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi for a new folding carton and logistics facility, but the Millhaven property at Monroe proved to be an ideal location. Like the VEGA Americas location, Millhaven is an LED Certified Site vetted by a third-party engineering firm as shovel-ready.
Friday, March 23 2018
Momentum Builds from Advanced Manufacturing to Cybersecurity
When Governor John Bel Edwards recognized Graphic Packaging International’s Andy Johnson on the Louisiana House of Representatives floor, the moment wasn’t lost on the hundreds of lawmakers, statewide elected officials, legislative staff and private citizens gathered to hear the governor’s 2018 State of the State speech.
“Time after time, the business community is saying yes to Louisiana,” Edwards said, recounting the 2017 selection of Louisiana by Graphic Packaging and logistics partner DHL for one of the world’s largest advanced manufacturing and distribution centers. “Last spring, we announced that Graphic Packaging International would be reinvesting in Northeast Louisiana with an all-new 1.27-million-square-foot carton manufacturing and logistics center in Monroe.”
Friday, March 24 2017
The doers, the builders, the thinkers, the leaders. Those thumbnail job descriptions depict people in the manufacturing industry, where Louisiana has joined national leaders to reinvigorate a sector too often seen as a vestige of the past. Yet, for a still-vital domestic manufacturing scene, the rewards can be handsome for those who prepare.
In Louisiana, manufacturing workers earn 32 percent more, on average, than their service-sector peers. And, there are other rewards.
“More and more women are going into manufacturing,” says Jamie Thibodeaux, a chemist for Sasol, which is building an $11 billion chemical manufacturing expansion near Lake Charles in Southwest Louisiana. “As a young woman, that motivates me to push forward and learn as much as possible. Working in a manufacturing industry gives me financial security. My schedule also allows me time to enjoy the simpler things with close family and friends.”
Along Louisiana’s coastline, David Morgan is a young mechanic for Metal Shark Boats, which manufactures sleek watercraft for the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and other customers.
Wednesday, March 16 2016
NEW ORLEANS — When Chiquita Brands International executives accepted a 2014 Louisiana offer to return to New Orleans after a four-decade absence, the immediate yield was obvious.
Today, the fruit and produce company is shipping 1.5 billion bananas a year through the port and supporting approximately 300 new logistics jobs. Over the next decade, Louisiana will reap total new economic output of $373 million to $485 million from the project, according to estimates by LSU economists.
“We at Chiquita are thrilled to return to the Port of New Orleans as we implement a new shipping configuration,” said Mario Pacheco, a senior vice president overseeing global logistics for the company, at an event announcing the project. “We are particularly excited about the enhanced service levels to our Chiquita and Great White Fleet customers that will result from this change in our shipping operations and expanded vessel capacity.”
Tuesday, March 17 2015
When IBM Senior Vice President Colleen Arnold stepped to the microphone at CenturyLink headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana, she did so with full knowledge of what a business partnership in the state can mean. The Fortune 500 companies already did significant business together in advancing IT solutions and internet Protocol-based applications in the telecommunications sector. In February 2015, they cemented their relationship further by announcing a new 400-job application development and innovation center in Monroe.
“We’re proud to be part of this innovative public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana and CenturyLink to further develop highly-valued skills and solutions expertise in security, analytics and mobility applications,” said Arnold, whose management of sales and distribution includes responsibility for IBM’s worldwide results. “Louisiana is the right place for high-tech job growth with an exceptional education system, business environment and workforce to serve the needs of our clients.”