Weyerhaeuser, a forest products company, plans a $6 million capital investment to upgrade its 250,000 square foot Natchitoches, Louisiana, forest products plant.
Workers at the plant produce I-joists under the firm's Trus Joist brand and laminated veneer lumber and structural header and beams under the Microllam brand.
Louisiana Economic Development said the company will modernize and upgrade equipment that will lead to more productive operations at its Engineered Lumber Products site, with the 30 new direct jobs paying an average salary of more than $31,000, plus benefits. LED estimates the project will result in an additional 77 new indirect jobs and help retain 175 current employees.
Governor Bobby Jindal said, "Weyerhaeuser began their forest products operations in our state over 100 years ago, and it employs over 800 people in Louisiana. We're proud that Weyerhaeuser chose to expand and modernize its operations right here in our state because of our strong business climate and incomparable workforce. This expansion demonstrates our strong commitment to growing Louisiana's businesses and moving our economy forward."
"This investment reflects the commitment of our company in this community and is a result of the tremendous work ethic and dedication of our associates and the local workforce," Steve Story, plant manager, said. "This investment will allow our workforce to grow and our operation to achieve increased efficiencies and process improvements."
To provide incentives, LED's Business Expansion and Retention Group, began working with Weyerhaeuser on expansion opportunities in April. To secure the project, the state provided the company with a $300,000 Modernization Tax Credit, payable over five years, and the customized services of LED FastStart, the state's workforce development training program in the nation. Weyerhaeuser also is expected to utilize Louisiana's Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs incentive programs.
Construction will start early next year and will be completed by the end of 2013. The company employs 845 people in 10 Louisiana communities.