Baton Rouge, LA (STL.News) Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and AFCO Industries President and CEO Don Fowler announced the company will make a $3.62 million investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Alexandria, Louisiana. AFCO will close its plant in Pell City, Alabama, and transfer jobs and manufacturing operations to its Louisiana location. The company manufactures metal weather stripping, aluminum extrusions, door tracks, columns, thresholds and other building construction components.
AFCO will create 16 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $25,250 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 22 indirect jobs, for a total of 38 new jobs for Rapides Parish and Central Louisiana. AFCO also is retaining 168 existing jobs at its Alexandria facility.
“AFCO Industries is an important manufacturer in Alexandria, and the skilled workforce in Rapides Parish has served the company well for many years,” Gov. Edwards said. “Louisiana’s strong business climate makes expansions like this possible, with production activity and jobs relocating here from elsewhere. We are glad to see AFCO’s success story in Central Louisiana continue into the future.”
Founded in 1946, AFCO manufactures a variety of aluminum, plastic and fiberglass products used in home construction and other building projects. Production of fiberglass columns, typically used as exterior features in home construction, will be relocated from its Alabama plant to Alexandria. With this project, the company is adding 93,000 square feet of production and warehouse space to its Alexandria operation.
“AFCO chose Louisiana for this plant because of the aggressive ‘open for business’ atmosphere in the state,” Fowler said. “We believe that Central Louisiana has the workforce AFCO needs to produce our products efficiently and to the high-quality standards our customers demand. CENLA is a great place to work, live and raise a family.”
To secure the project, LED offered AFCO Industries a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart®, the nation’s leading state workforce training program. AFCO also will be eligible for a performance-based grant of up to $150,000 for relocating equipment and inventory. In addition, the company is expected to utilize the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“AFCO Industries has been a partner in Central Louisiana since 1946, and their expansion demonstrates their commitment to our community,” Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall said. “The jobs they provide are important, and being employee-owned means that employees are invested in the products they make. We are proud that AFCO calls Alexandria home.”
With fiberglass products and aluminum products manufactured in the same location, AFCO management expects its customers will benefit from lower prepaid freight minimums on their orders, resulting in increased sales.
“AFCO Industries has contributed to our local economy for decades,” said President and CEO Jim Clinton of the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “This new expansion helps assure their continuing presence here and includes some much-appreciated new jobs as well.”