BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that a Denham Springs plant will be undergoing a $17.5 million expansion in August.
According to Edwards, Bercen announced the expansion that will retain 55 jobs at the facility while creating eight new jobs with $75,000-year salaries. The expansion is estimated to bring in 23 indirect jobs, according to the Louisiana Economic Development.
The facility manufactures paper packaging, fuel and lubricants, coatings and industrial applications.
“Time and again, companies are reinvesting in Louisiana manufacturing facilities, proving that our state has the workforce, business climate and transportation logistics for these critical supply-chain companies to thrive,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Bercen’s commitment to retain existing jobs and add good-paying jobs at its Denham Springs facility is a credit to the skilled advanced manufacturing workforce in Livingston Parish. We appreciate the company’s recognition of our state’s business advantages and look forward to the economic activity this investment will stimulate in the Capital Region.”
Expansion is slated to begin in August and is estimated to be completed by the end of this year, according to Edwards. Officials said improvements in its expansion plan include infrastructure upgrades, equipment upgrades, and environmental management capability upgrades.
“Louisiana’s support of manufacturing businesses like ours makes it a desirable place to invest,” Vertellus Vice President and General Manager Jim Elliott said. “The local leadership in Livingston Parish has given more than 60 years of continuous support to the site. The chemical manufacturing industry relies on Louisiana just as Bercen relies on the skilled workforce and local collegiate talent from the region.”
Local leaders react to the facility’s expansion plans:
“In the past two years, businesses have faced tough challenges and worker shortages, so it is great to learn that Bercen has plans to improve and expand its business capabilities as well as its workforce, adding eight new jobs locally,” said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks. “Bercen has met and exceeded its productivity estimates since locating to Livingston Parish, and I am excited that this trend is continuing.”
“We are pleased that Bercen has made the decision to expand their Livingston Parish operation with a significant capital investment and commitment to bring more high-paying jobs to the local community,” Livingston Economic Development Council President and CEO David Bennett said. “In a time when many businesses are struggling, it’s nice to celebrate a company that is willing and able to make the necessary investment to capture a new market opportunity.”
“Vertellus has found the talent, infrastructure and support from the state and local level to succeed,” said Adam Knapp, President, and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “We join our partners in Livingston to celebrate this exciting growth in our Capital Region.”
The Governor’s announcement said the facility secured expansion funds with $250,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award program. Additionally, the Vertellus company is to use Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.