Randa expands local operation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 9, 2003

By LEONARD GRAY-Staff Reporter

ST. ROSE – Randa Corporation, the world’s largest men’s accessories company, will transfer more of its operations to its James Business Park facility, adding more than 135 jobs, bringing the total to more than 300 jobs.

According to Corey Faucheux, director of economic development for St. Charles Parish, Randa will be shifting the distribution of its belts, wallets and suspenders affiliate from Chicago to its $10 million St. Rose facility.

Parish President Albert Laque commented, “The primary reason why we recruited the company so heavily was because of the employment opportunities for our local residents.”

Laque continued, “Latest reports submitted by the company indicate that over 75 percent of their job vacancies have been filled by local residents. This shows why this endeavor was one of the elite economic development projects in the South, and why we invested so much time and effort in the recruitment process.”

Randa Chief Financial Officer Bill Murphy said, “We could have easily selected Jefferson Parish, Mississippi, or any other location to make our investment, but we chose St. Charles Parish because of the incentives offered by the state and St. Charles Parish, location and site, the parish’s labor force and most importantly because we were certain that we were dealing with honest people.

MetroVision likewise called the project a major success for the parish. Vice President Tom Kurtz commented, “This project is symbolic of a perfect, regional economic development process that successfully retained a growing company from moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Although we participated, it was the leadership and expertise of the parish president and the parish’s economic development department that ultimately closed the deal for the region.”

Randa’s products are sold under such poplular brand names of men’s accessories as Geoffrey Beene, Van Heusen, Levis, Dockers, Arrow, Joseph abboud, Izod, Dickies, Columbia, Tabasco, The Beatles, Save the Children and Countess Mara.