Crest Industries to build plant in Robert, creating 165 jobs

HAMMOND — Crest Industries will invest $15 million for a new galvanizing plant in Robert, bringing 165 new jobs to the Hammond area, the company’s CEO announced Tuesday.

The new 75,000-square-foot facility will employ 70 full-time employees at an average salary of $45,450 plus benefits. The project also will create an estimated 95 permanent indirect jobs and support 230 construction jobs, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said.

Crest Industries, established in 1958 and based in Pineville, already employs 559, providing galvanizing and protective coating services for major electric and chemical companies, as well as small businesses and rural co-ops, CEO Kenny Robison said.

The Robert plant will enable the company to expand its customer base while tapping into the workforce of Tangipahoa Parish, Robison said.

Crest has selected a preferred site in the Robert area, east of Hammond, for the galvanizing plant and is completing a review of property characteristics before publicly disclosing the location.

The new plant will bring services in-house that formerly were contracted to outside vendors, according to a release from the Governor’s Office following the announcement at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Small Business Development Center in Hammond.

To secure the project, the state offered an incentive package that included a $457,500 Economic Development Loan Program award and services from LED FastStart, the state’s workforce development program, the Governor’s Office said.

In addition, the company is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Construction will begin on the facility in early 2014, with a completion date in 2015, the Governor’s Office said.

Hiring for the plant will begin in 2014, with the majority of the jobs to be filled in 2015. The plant will reach full employment in 2016.

Moret said Tuesday’s announcement is indicative of the kind of interest companies are showing in locating in the parish.

“Tangipahoa is one of the great parishes in terms of having an attractive business climate,” Moret said. “I see a very, very bright future ahead for Tangipahoa.”

Greater New Orleans Inc. CEO Michael Hecht said the investment is “proof-positive of the growth and business opportunities in Greater New Orleans.”