Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the 2019 Louisiana Manufacturing Week at a launch event hosted by Frymaster, a major manufacturer in Shreveport.
During the launch, Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development delivered a proclamation from Governor Edwards, declaring Sept. 29 through Oct. 5 as 2019 Louisiana Manufacturing Week.
“Too often, we take for granted the companies that make the essential products we need for daily living,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana is blessed to be the home to thousands of manufacturing sites. They create and sustain some of our best-paying jobs, and they create goods that are the building blocks of so many other industries. We’re thankful to companies like Frymaster that continue to innovate, improve and invest in their operations and people, so that our manufacturing sector can thrive.”
At the launch event in Shreveport, students from Stanley High School in Logansport attended and learned about Frymaster’s operations and career opportunities in the manufacturing sector. With more than 400 professionals producing state-of-the-art commercial kitchen equipment, Frymaster is one of nearly 4,500 manufacturing establishments in Louisiana that employ 137,500 people.
“Frymaster is proud to host the launch of Louisiana Manufacturing Week, in conjunction with the national Dream It. Do It. campaign,” said Frymaster Managing Director and Vice President Todd Phillips, who oversees the company’s Shreveport manufacturing complex that has been in business for more than eight decades. “As one of the world’s leading commercial food industry brands, we are proud to represent the Welbilt family of products by providing outstanding manufacturing careers here in Shreveport, where we are investing in our people and our products to meet the next-generation food equipment needs of our customers.” Many manufacturers in North Louisiana participate in North Louisiana Manufacturing Week, which was inspired by a national movement to highlight rewarding manufacturing career opportunities. North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) and the Manufacturer’s Managers Council of Northwest Louisiana (MMC) have annually organized and sponsored the award-winning North Louisiana Manufacturing Week program since 2014. Other manufacturers sponsoring and participating in the event include Frymaster, Fibrebond, Red Ball Oxygen, WestRock and International Paper.
“Frymaster’s commitment to this community is demonstrated by its support of North Louisiana Manufacturing Week and by opening its facility to high school tours,” said NLEP President Scott Martinez. The phenomenal growth of this award-winning workforce initiative is due in part to the collaboration between NLEP and our local manufacturers.” North Louisiana Manufacturing Week continues to grow in employer and student participation, prompting NLEP and MMC last year to expand the program to two weeks, taking place this year from September 30th to October 11th. Manufacturers open their plants to student tours to highlight how modern manufacturing processes have advanced, incorporating significantly more technology and automation, which requires workers with stronger technical skills than in the past. The students also visit community and technical colleges and universities to learn about the type of training and education required to pursue rewarding careers in manufacturing. The students receive a Manufacturing Week magazine at the end of each tour to learn more about various manufacturing careers, training and education requirements of the careers, and local training programs available.
“There’s a strong reason why we place special emphasis on the manufacturing industry during this annual observance,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Manufacturing jobs are fun, they’re creative, they build confidence in our people, and they bring tremendous value to our workforce. In Louisiana, the average manufacturing wage pays 68 percent more than the average wage for all jobs in our state. At LED, we’re proud to stand behind our manufacturers to help them grow, reinvest and continue being competitive for generations to come.”
In its sixth year, North Louisiana Manufacturing Week will include approximately 56 tours of manufacturing plants and training programs by over 1,300 students from 11 school districts, with companies such as International Paper in Mansfield and Campti to Metro Aviation in Shreveport to Haynes International in Arcadia and many more. More information about North Louisiana Manufacturing Week can be found at www.nlep.org/Workforce/Manufacturing-Week.aspx.