Lafayette Region Manufacturing
Forging Aheadin Acadiana
Significant manufacturing operations in Acadiana - located in South Central Louisiana along the Gulf of Mexico - take advantage of its robust logistics infrastructure which ships cargo by air, freight train, and port around the world every day. The region’s major employers include a diverse mix of industry from healthcare to construction. Major manufacturing investments in the region include:
Leigh St. Julian Billeaud
Manager, Business Recruitment
Matt Stuller founded Stuller, Inc., one of the largest jewelry setting manufacturers in the world, over 40 years ago. Its manufacturing and administrative headquarters in Lafayette employs approximately 1,600 people who provide next-day delivery of more than 200,000 different items to 40,000 jewelry professionals worldwide. Due in large part to Stuller’s business model, both FedEx and UPS have significant cargo operations at Lafayette Regional Airport providing top-notch logistics capabilities to manufacturers around Acadiana.
From its fully self-contained facility in Iberia Parish, Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran center console and pilothouse patrol boats, fireboats, pilot boats, passenger vessels, and other specialty vessels up to 250 feet. Customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, foreign militaries, port operators, and commercial entities worldwide. In April 2016, Metal Shark was awarded a competitive federal grant for small shipyards to support modernization, increase productivity, and to maintain competitiveness in the global marketplace.
With two facilities in the Acadiana region, Cameron’s Valves and Measurement - A Schlumberger Company - is a leading provider of valves and measurement systems for the oil and gas industry. Beyond selecting Acadiana for its strategic location, Cameron continues to take advantage of the region’s quality workforce, employing over 500 area residents.
Acadiana values its manufacturing industry, and will align state and local resources to provide customized incentive packages for businesses looking to grow. A few standard incentives are outlined below. You can find a full list of standard incentives here.
Industrial Tax Exemption Program
Provides a 100% property tax abatement for an initial five-year term with an option for a five-year renewal on manufacturer’s qualifying capital investments.
Provides up to a 6 percent cash rebate of annual gross payroll for new, direct jobs for up to 10 years. It could also provide a 4 percent sales/use tax rebate on capital expenditures or a 1.5 percent investment tax credit for qualified expenses.
A Better Bottom Line
- No. 1: Lowest tax burden in the U.S. for new capital-intensive and labor-intensive manufacturing operations.
- No. 2: Second-lowest industrial electricity rates in the South, averaging 19 percent below the national average between 2012-2014.
- No. 1: Lowest industrial natural gas rates in the South, averaging 18 percent below the national average between 2012-2014.
- No. 1: Acadiana has lower manufacturing wages than Louisiana, the South, and the U.S.
A Quality Workforce
A right-to work state for more than three decades, Louisiana ranks in the Top 10 for lowest rates of private workforce unionization. It is also home to LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program, which creates customized workforce recruitment, screening, and training solutions. With a growing labor force of nearly 318,000 in the region, competitive wages, and a strong education pipeline, Acadiana’s workforce is waiting for you. A number of Louisiana universities have specific programs and research strengths related to the manufacturing industry and graduate new engineers each semester.
National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NACM)
Originally formed in 1999, the NACM is a state of the art research and production center focused on applying advanced manufacturing technologies to lightweight composite and metallic materials in support of the NASA space program and adjacent industries. Located at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, it is a partnership between NASA, Louisiana State University, the University of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering is its largest undergraduate program boasting over 2,700 undergraduate students, 177 master’s students, and 41 PhD students representing 45 states and 25 countries. The college focuses on providing “hands-on” learning experiences with a strong emphasis on internship and cooperative learning experiences. Over 200 companies regularly recruit its Engineering and Technology graduates.
South Louisiana Community College (SLCC)
SLCC offers technical diplomas, workforce training, high school dual enrollment and two-year degree programs. It maintains 8 campuses across the Acadiana region, and offers 35 areas of study via traditional, evening, and web-based courses. SLCC is focused on job placement, and partners with industry to provide top-notch certification programs in machine tool technology, welding, and other technical fields.
The right location is waiting for you.
We've got acres of opportunity.View Available Sites
Acadiana is a prime location for your business. A logistical hub, the region is strategically located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49. It provides access to 38 interior states via the Mississippi River and countless international markets via the Gulf of Mexico. Within the Acadiana region alone are: TWO commercial airports, TWO Class I rail systems, FIVE coastal ports, and TWO inland ports.
Subscribe to Our E‑Newsletter!
Get monthly updates on the latest news, events, and initiatives from Acadiana.