US foods expanding Marrero facility

US foods expanding Marrero facility
Source: Flickr Creative Commons

MARRERO, LA (WVUE) - A food company is expanding in Jefferson Parish.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced US Foods will make a significant investment to expand the company's F. Christiana distribution facility in Marrero.

The company will retain 140 existing jobs and create 45 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $46,000, plus benefits.

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 38 new indirect jobs, for a total of 83 new jobs in Louisiana's Southeast Region, according to Edwards.

The investment will triple the size of the facility to 200,000 square feet in support of expanding distribution opportunities across the region.

US Foods explored a wide variety of markets for the investment, with Louisiana ultimately selected. Construction will begin in late 2018 and the expansion will be completed two years later. Hiring for the new positions will begin soon after the expansion is completed.

"Combining a strategic infrastructure with a highly skilled workforce, Louisiana is an ideal location for US Foods to continue to invest and expand," Gov. Edwards said. "The competition was stiff, but US Foods' investment in Marrero is a testament to the strength of Louisiana's business climate and cohesive partners on the state, regional and local levels who helped secure this great project win. Our collaboration demonstrates that we are committed to ensuring that businesses like US Foods and F. Christiana can grow, thrive and create outstanding career opportunities for our people."

F. Christiana is a broadline distributor of food and food-related products, with more than 1,800 independent restaurant, hotel and convenience store customers in Louisiana, southern Mississippi and parts of southern Alabama. LED, along with the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, or JEDCO, began discussions about a potential expansion project with US Foods in October 2017.

"We are excited to strengthen our presence in Louisiana," said South Region President Keith Knight of US Foods. "This expansion will allow us to continue to grow and serve more customers throughout Louisiana. We would like to thank Louisiana Economic Development, Jefferson Parish and JEDCO for their continued efforts in making this possible."

To secure the company's investment in the Marrero facility, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – the nation's No. 1 state workforce development program, according to Edwards.

The company will receive a performance based grant of $1.5 million to offset the cost of facility improvements and construction upgrades to the site and facility. Also, the company will receive a performance-based, forgivable loan of $561,000 from the state's Economic Development Award Program for infrastructure upgrades at the site. Additionally, the company is expected to participate in Louisiana's Enterprise Zone Program.

"We are thrilled to celebrate the expansion of US Foods in Jefferson Parish," said Parish President Mike Yenni. "We are welcoming one of the largest food distributors in the nation into our community, adding to the list of numerous national and international brands that choose to call Jefferson Parish home. This announcement is further proof that Jefferson Parish has become a destination for business. We look forward to a long relationship with US Foods."

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