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Manufacturer Comes to Scott

By Richard Burgess
and Skip Descant

The Advocate

A Houston company that makes protective coatings for oilfield equipment is opening a plant in Scott that is projected to employ 120 workers within five years, company officials announced Thursday.

In a separate announcement in Baton Rouge, West Sanitation Services said it will move its manufacturing and headquarters there, adding about 30 new jobs to the Capital Region in addition to a roughly $1.1 million capital investment.

Houston Plating & Coatings expects to open an 80,000-square-foot facility in Scott by midyear, operating its division under the name Louisiana Plating & Coatings, Chief Executive Officer EO William Howard said.

Salaries will average $35,000 a year plus benefits. The company plans to hire 35 workers the first year and gradually increase employment to 120 workers by the fifth year of operation, according to information from Gov. Bobby Jindal's office.

"This is a significant plant and a significant expansion for this company," Howard said.

The company has a large customer base in Louisiana's oil patch, including Halliburton, which last year announced a new $65 million manufacturing facility in north Lafayette.

Louisiana Plating & Coatings will be among the major employers in the Scott area and a significant source of tax revenue and jobs for the small municipality, Mayor Purvis Morrison said.

"Today is a great day for the city of Scott," he said.

The city is seeking about $1 million in federal grant money to help extend sewer lines, water lines and other infrastructure for the new plant, which will take shape on seven acres off Cameron Street, Morrison said.

The company also will participate in the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption economic development incentive programs.

In the Capital Region, West Sanitation, a manufacturer and distributor of odor control products for commercial and institutional restrooms, announced its move to Baton Rouge.

The company has headquarters in California and manufacturing site in Illinois. Manufacturing is expected to begin in February in Baton Rouge, with the headquarters relocation some time this summer.

The jobs will pay, on average, more than $38,000 a year, plus benefits, Louisiana's economic development department reported.

"What makes this so significant, is for too many years we've heard about companies moving out of our state. Now you've got companies moving here, selling their products all over this region, all over the country, bringing new dollars into this economy," Jindal said.

CEO Ben Elder cited the state's low taxes and a more agreeable business climate as reasons for relocating to Baton Rouge.

West Sanitation Services also will participate in Louisiana's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption economic development incentive programs.

"With our headquarters based in California and our manufacturing operations in Illinois, the current taxes and regulations in these states restricted our opportunities for growth and profitability," Elder said. "We were courted seriously by other states, but in the end we decided that Louisiana offered the best opportunity."

Spun off of West Chemical Products Inc. more than three decades ago, West Sanitation Services - with the slogan, "Making Restrooms into the Best Rooms" - developed its own line of proprietary odor control products, which are sold and serviced throughout the United States by West Sanitation franchises and sold across the world through international distributorships.

The company has 75 franchised units, 24 of which are company-owned.