Industry grows, wages leading in river region

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2001


HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish is leading the state in industrial investments with more than $1 billion in new and expansion industrial projects, according to statistics just released by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Added to that news, according to the parish economic development director Corey Faucheux, the parish is also leading the state in average weekly wage. The Louisiana Project Announcements report for 2000 lists a total of $1,013,302,000, including $57,802,000 in manufacturing projects at Union Carbide (now Dow – St. Charles Operations) and Monsanto Co. Other new projects range from the announced Ramada Inn at James Business Park, a $7 million project, to a $5,550,000 Con-Way Transportation Service center, also in St. Rose. Total non-manufacturing projects announced during 2000 come to $955,500,000, according to the report. “That looks good!” exclaimed Parish President Albert Laque, who added, “I hope it all becomes a reality.” Faucheux said that with payroll and local spending this should have an annual economic impact of $2.1 billion to the parish. Total permanent jobs added come to 210, with 1,735 construction jobs. Faucheux also reported that St. Charles Parish, for the second year in a row, leads the state in average weekly wage, at $755 per week, or $39,260 per year. St. James Parish came in second place, according to the latest statistics from the Louisiana Department of Labor, with an average weekly wage of $701.04, or $36,454 per year. In the year previous, St. James Parish was in third place and moved up a notch. St. James Parish is also reporting $38,680,000 in industrial project announcements for the past year, including a $25 million terminal expansion at Lafarge Corp. and construction of a warehouse at IC Railmarine Terminal, both in Convent. Total estimated new permanent jobs are 26, with 103 construction jobs. St. John the Baptist Parish is reporting $12,240,000 in industrial project announcements, including construction of an 80-room, $3,600,000 hotel in LaPlace by Cajun Lodging. Total permanent jobs for St. John come to 197, with 275 construction jobs.