MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced an agreement that will keep one of Northwest Louisiana’s largest employers from relocating and taking more than 700 jobs with it.
Fibrebond employs 750 people in the Webster Parish town of Minden, but in August, the company said the poor condition of local bridges were forcing it to consider relocating to east Texas.
In an email to employees over the summer, Fibrebond’s CEO said they only have one way to ship their products due to failing bridges, forcing them to detour more than 200 miles.
According to a statement released by the governor’s office, Fibrebond will retain its operations in Minden in Webster Parish thanks to an agreement that includes the State of Louisiana providing transportation infrastructure improvements and workforce training solutions that Edwards says will benefit not only Fibrebond, but also other major employers in Northwest Louisiana.”
Gov. Edwards and others will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in early October that will identify specific improvements the state will provide.
“I am happy to announce we have reached a positive solution that will keep Fibrebond operating in Webster Parish,” Gov. Edwards said in the statement released late Thursday morning. “The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Louisiana Economic Development are teaming up to deliver improvements in both logistics and workforce training. This is a great solution that not only retains a major employer in Minden, but also will improve operations for other key employers in Webster Parish and the Northwest Region as well. On behalf of myself and the people of Northwest Louisiana, I appreciate Fibrebond renewing its commitment to Louisiana.”
The statement says infrastructure improvements will include upgrades to roads and bridges in the region to accommodate vehicles transporting Fibrebond’s oversized and extremely heavy manufactured products. Fibrebond specializes in the manufacturing of engineered-to-order structures and other complex products for use in data center, petrochemical, energy and telecommunications markets.