BRAC works with companies looking to expand or relocate in the Baton Rouge area. Each project is unique and requires varying levels of assistance from the organization and their economic development partners. The case studies below expemlify how this assistance leads to growth in the Capital Region. To learn more, contact the BRAC business development team.
BRAC was heavily involved in the efforts that attracted IBM to the region. The new technology center aligns with BRAC’s target industry strategy which identified the software design industry as a prime area for growth in the region. This project will fast track the region’s growth in this already strong sector, adds to the strength of the Baton Rouge economy, and will attract a new class of young professionals to our area.
DMC Carter Chambers
DMC Carter Chambers, an advanced valve, regulator, and industrial filter manufacturer, had recently received an aggressive and unsolicited offer to relocate to another state. They had run out of space in their current Capital Region facility and needed to either build a new facility or diversify operations. BRAC and Louisiana Economic Development met with company executives and over several months worked to identify areas where assistance could be offered. Together, the two economic development entities presented a package to help the company expand their operations in the Baton Rouge area. This included workforce analysis, specialty training programs, incentives, and help securing a performance-based loan to facilitate the expansion. In May 2012, DMC’s CEO Joey Jobe announced that they would build a new $8 million facility in Baton Rouge, allowing the company to retain eighty-eight jobs here and add an additional eighty employees over a five-year period. DMC has stated that BRAC and Louisiana Economic Development were a leading force in retaining the company and supporting its expansion.
Methanex Corporation Expansion
Methanex, based in Vancouver, Canada with operations in Louisiana, is a major producer of methanol products. In early 2012, they began to consider an expansion of their Ascension Parish facility. Soon after becoming aware of the company’s potential expansion, BRAC’s business development team began immediately working with Methanex.
The business development team’s assistance consisted of helping to understand and navigate financial incentives, providing potential sites, developing, packaging, and formally responding to the request for proposal, facilitating dialogue with landowners to secure the needed property, and assessing potential logistics issues. In conjunction with BRAC’s economic competitiveness group, the organization researched and proved the case that the Baton Rouge area offered substantial advantages in the area of workforce availability, lower wage rates, and higher employee retention rates than competitor sites in Texas and Canada.
BRAC played a major role in helping the Methanex team understand the benefits of and the process for applying for Louisiana incentives. The company is eligible to participate in the Industrial Tex Exemption and Quality Jobs programs and is currently participating in the Louisiana Fast Start Program to identify and train employees. BRAC also provided local partner, Ascension Economic Development Council (AEDC), a complete economic impact analysis that showed all of the projected revenue streams and benefits from the project. AEDC was able to utilize this data in securing additional local incentives for the company related to sales taxes on construction materials, which was one of the key deciding factors in securing the project for Louisiana. Finally, BRAC assisted in connecting Methanex with resources such as Entergy, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and others to answer questions and concerns.
In July 2012, Methanex announced plans to develop a new $550 million facility in Ascension Parish, creating 130 new jobs and $7.3 million in new payroll. This project was a true demonstration of the partnership between the state level (Louisiana Economic Development), regional level (BRAC), and the local level (AEDC) economic development teams and reflected the seamless work between these different groups.
Orion Instruments opened its doors on September 11, 2001 with just seven employees. The company, who builds Magnetic Level Indicators (MLI’s) which are advanced and highly technical instruments that measure and report flows in pipelines and liquid levels in storage tanks, has made tremendous strides since that infamous day. Over the next nine years, Orion, led by President Don Sanders, has built a client base, developed new markets, and achieved an astounding level of growth. In 2008, BRAC identified that the company had outgrown their facility in Baton Rouge and was considering moving to another state. In response, BRAC, along with the company’s management team, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, and Louisiana Economic Development worked over the next nine months to identify a new location and prepare a comprehensive economic incentive package to support Orion’s growth in the Baton Rouge area. Today, the company operates out of a state-of-the-art 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility with further room to grow. It currently employs approximately 120 people and sells products to more than thirty countries with 70 percent of their sales coming from international customers.