The last couple weeks have been chock full of major economic development wins for Louisiana.
In Central Louisiana, we announced that UPS Midstream Services Inc. is investing more than $3.9 million to construct a new full-service machine facility. As the Jena Times reported, the new facility will create 95 direct jobs, and over 100 indirect jobs, for a total of roughly 200 new jobs in Central Louisiana.
In Northeast Louisiana, Drax Biomass International announced that the company is building a new wood pellet facility in Bastrop and a storage-and-shipping facility in Baton Rouge. As NBC33 reported, the two projects will combine to create 63 new direct jobs, and an estimated 143 indirect jobs, for a total of more than 200 new jobs for Louisiana.
LocalMed, a digital healthcare startup and homegrown Louisiana company, will create 52 new jobs in Baton Rouge. As the Baton Rouge Advocate reported, LocalMed considered investing in Texas and Florida, but ultimately chose to stay in Louisiana.
These announcements come on the heels of perhaps some of the biggest economic development news Louisiana has ever had. As part of a plan to convert natural gas to liquid fuels, Sasol is investing up to $21 billion in Southwest Louisiana. This project will create over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.
As the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported, this project will be the largest single manufacturing investment in the history of Louisiana and it also represents one of the largest foreign direct investment manufacturing projects in the history of the entire country. Not only that, but Sasol’s investment is a huge step forward to help the United States become more energy independent.
Despite a tough national economy, Sasol and many other companies are making significant investments in Louisiana because of our strong business climate and world-class workforce. These wins are great news for Louisiana, but we’ve got more work to do, and we will not rest until all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams here at home.
Governor Bobby Jindal’s column apears regularly in the Bossier Press-Tribune.