Content tagged “Manufacturing and engineering”

Local industry alliance: Pipefitters, welders among those in highest demand

In its latest semi-annual contract labor forecast, released today, the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance says the expected rise in capital project work in the area is beginning to take hold. The survey of GBRIA's 57 members in the petrochemical, energy, paper, pharmaceutical and storage terminal industries shows that the top industrial crafts in demand right now are pipefitters, welders, instrument and electrical technicians, millwrights and scaffold builders. "Engineers, process technicians and laborers are also in high demand, as are non-destructive testing technicians," adds GBRIA Executive Director Connie Fabré in a prepared statement. While the overall outlook remains positive for the industrial sector in the Capital Region, GBRIA notes that its latest forecast is somewhat lower than the one it released last summer, when it estimated the region would need an additional...

Going to bat

From Little League to Major Leagues, when a baseball player swings for the fences, theres a good chance he's swinging a bat made in Baton Rouge.

Westlake marks completion of $425 million Geismar plant

The completion of Westlake Chemical's $425 million chlor-alkali plant in Geismar means the company is now providing internally produced chlorine for its adjacent vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant. Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Westlake CEO Albert Chao in Geismar today to highlight the completion of the chlor-alkali plant, which includes the capacity for 350,000 tons of chlorine per year and 385,000 tons of caustic soda per year. On top of creating 70 new direct jobs and retaining 75 existing employees, LED estimates the project will result in an additional 384 indirect jobs. Development of the new chlor-alkali plant began in 2010 and created 2,000 construction jobs at peak activity. For its downstream building products companies, Westlake provides PVC pipe for water and sewer applications, PVC siding, windows, fencing and other building products. "The new facility is adjacent to the existing facilities and the construction of this new plant is consistent with...

Construction boom veterans: The time to act is now

Several hundred industrial contractors, suppliers, educators, lawyers and financiers gathered Thursday evening to hear directly from those who have been in the trenches what the coming industrial boom will mean for their businesses. Veterans from industrial construction, plant operations and human resources had cautionary tales for the crowd of listeners eager to hear how their companies can hitch their wagons to the construction boom star. The event, hosted by Regions Bank and co-sponsored by the Kean Miller law firm and Business Report, provided historical perspective on why Louisiana is a magnet for industry, especially petrochemicals, and what we can learn from previous booms. The first thing to understand, according to Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, is that the impending boom did not occur out of nowhere. "We shouldn't lose sight of the gifts that have provided the platform," he said. "God gave us dead dinosaurs to create a Jurassic Park of...

B.R. firm tapped for studies to help southwest La. prepare for industrial boom

Two major studies have been launched to assess how southwest Louisiana can prepare for the multibillion dollar industry expansions planned for the next decade. The American Press reports more than 70 business and community leaders met in Lake Charles on Wednesday to learn about the SWLA Regional Impact Study and the SWLA Regional Housing Strategic Plan. Conducted by CSRS, an engineering, architectural and program management firm based in Baton Rouge, in partnership with the Go Group and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the studies will seek information from business leaders, elected officials and the community to help southwest Louisiana prepare for the challenges associated with unprecedented industrial expansion. "The challenges and the opportunities that southwest Louisiana has right now are unparalleled," says Travis Woodard, a principal at CSRS. The Regional Impact Study will focus on the five-parish region around Lake Charles. The study is being...

CB&I lands contract to provide Dow with pipes for new plants in La., Texas

CB&I, which last year acquired Baton Rouge-based The Shaw Group in a deal worth roughly $3 billion, this morning announced it has been awarded a contract to make pipes for Dow Chemical Co. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Specifically, CB&I will be fabricating pipes for Dow's U.S. Gulf Coast Investment Program, which includes at least five new plants in Louisiana and Texas. "CB&I's strategically-located fabrication facilities, production management systems and manufacturing technology give us the unique capability to provide complete piping solutions for major energy infrastructure projects," says Luke Scorsone, president of CB&I's fabrication services operating group, in a prepared statement. "This distinct expertise offers our customers greater quality, efficiency and schedule reliability, and in turn, we help our customers get their products to market faster." Dow's Gulf Coast...

Chemical gold

Businesses across south Louisiana are well-acquainted with the economic tsunami generated by cheap natural gas that is spurring billions of dollars in industrial investment in Louisiana.

'Business Report': What businesses need to know about reaping rewards of manufacturing renaissance in La.

The manufacturing boom looming large in south Louisiana has brought with it not only a boom in construction but a boom in financing as well. As Business Report details in a feature from the current issue, billions in construction projects are planned, primarily along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and around Lake Charles, over the next three to four years. Workers and small business owners stand to benefit from an unrivaled period of growth. "Even if only a quarter of the announcements ultimately get built, we're going to see growth like we've never seen," says Danny Montelaro, executive vice president at Regions Bank. But the dramatic increase in work won't be limited solely to contractors and suppliers serving the petrochemical industry. Indeed, according to Bennett Blackledge, sales and operations manager at Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, the boom will benefit "almost every industry, from the mortgage industry to the restaurant industry." That prospect is...

LABI outlines plan to address La. skilled worker shortage

In advance of its annual meeting on Wednesday, LABI has released a paper outlining its approach to addressing one of the greatest challenges facing the state: the need for an estimated 86,000 new craft workers in the state by 2016. More than $60 billion in new and expanded projects have been announced for Louisiana in recent years, and LABI notes economists expect the state to surpass the 2 million jobs mark for the first time in its history sometime next year. "The coming industrial expansion will build upon decades of anecdotal complaints confirmed by studies that Louisiana has an inadequate and under-prepared workforce," reads the paper. "In a recent survey, more than one-third of 3,000 employers in Louisiana cited an inability to find qualified, skilled or experienced applicants as the greatest difficulty in filling open positions. This deficit of knowledge, skills and talent slows and inhibits growth, putting billions of projects nationally at risk." To address the problem, LABI...

Financing the boom

The manufacturing boom looming large in south Louisiana has brought with it not only a boom in construction but a boom in financing as well.

The search is on

Louisiana is in the early stages of a major manufacturing expansion. Cheap natural gas is revitalizing the petrochemical sector and fueling an unprecedented industrial construction boom.

New Shaw in town

Two months after packing up the executive suite in what was then Shaw Tower, Jim Bernhard has launched a new venture—Shaw Capital Partners, a private equity firm that will invest in independent energy and infrastructure companies and assets.