By: Jim Johnson
March 31, 2014
Recycled plastic railroad tie maker IntegriCo Composites Inc. will open a new manufacturing facility in northwest Louisiana, a move that local officials are calling both a godsend and a game-changer thanks to the 300 jobs being created.
The company also will move its corporate headquarters to near Springhill, La., from Temple, Texas, through the $20 million project that’s scheduled to begin hiring in October.
This is such a big deal for Louisiana that Gov. Bobby Jindal made a trip to the site in Webster Parish to announce the news on March 31, according to a local report.
IntegriCo will lease 178,000 square feet of manufacturing space in two buildings and 12 adjacent acres in the North Webster Industrial Park.
“IntegriCo’s decision, following a thorough review of more than 30 facilities throughout six states, hinged on the partnership displayed by the State of Louisiana, its economic development teams and the local parish to create the framework for successful job creation and associated economic growth,” CEO Scott Mack said in a statement.
Louisiana is stepping up to the plate financially to attract IntegriCo, which considered 30 different sites in six states.
The company is receiving what Louisiana Economic Development, a state agency, called “a performance-based $2.5 million award” as well as another $2.5 million in capital funding to support infrastructure improvements. That work includes rail spur changes as well as electrical, roof, flooring, lighting and plumbing upgrades at the site owned by the North Webster Parish Industrial District.
Locally, the district will provide $500,000 grants each year for 10 years for manufacturing equipment leasing.
“Investments like this one by IntegriCo Composites confirm that our state can lead the South and the nation in creating strong manufacturing jobs right here at home,” Jindal said in a statement.
In an area that’s been hard hit economically, the 300 new jobs are being welcomed by local leaders. “This project is a game-changer and a good fit for our community,” Springhill Mayor Carroll Breaux said in a statement.
“The 300 jobs that IntegriCo Composites will bring to our parish is a godsend and a great opportunity,” said President Jim Bonsall of the Webster Parish Police Jury. A police jury in Louisiana governs a parish, similar to county councils or commissions in other states.
Along with the 300 direct new jobs, the state estimates another 339 indirect jobs will come along. The IntegriCo positions will pay an average of $35,000 annually.
IntegriCo indicated a need for an additional location because its Temple manufacturing site is operating at capacity.
Made from recycled plastics, IntegriCo’s railroad products offer an alternative to treated wood. While they initially are more expensive than wood, the products last two to five times longer, making the ultimate cost lower over time, the company said.