Building from the ground up, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston will construct the first large-scale processing facility dedicated to high-quality, frozen sweet potato products in Delhi, Louisiana. The company will invest more than $210 million in the new state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly facility, creating at least 500 new, direct jobs with an average annual salary of $35,000, plus benefits. Upon completion, the facility is expected to become one of the region’s 10 largest private-sector employers in Northeast Louisiana.
An economic-impact analysis conducted by Louisiana State University (LSU) suggests the new facility will provide $2.1 billion to $2.4 billion in new state economic output from 2009 to 2025. In addition to direct jobs, LSU estimates the new facility will beget an additional 1,420 to 1,704 indirect jobs. The facility will also generate $70 million to $81 million in new state tax revenues, excluding increased corporate income taxes.
The company plans to take advantage of the state's Industrial Property Tax Exemption program and customized workforce recruitment, screening and training developed by Louisiana FastStart™, a turnkey workforce solutions program.
The facility will be constructed in two phases, with the first phase ($156 million) scheduled for completion by late 2010 and a second phase ($55 million to $100 million) by February 2014.
It will be one of the first food plants in the country built from the ground up with the newest and best processing and packaging technologies in the industry. The facility will also follow LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards for environmentally sustainable construction and will be registered with the United States Green Building Council.
Governor Bobby Jindal described the investment as further evidence of why our state continues to buck national economic trends.