Former GM Plant In Shreveport To Be Converted To Manufacturing Facility For Data Components

SLB announced it is establishing a manufacturing facility in the former General Motors assembly plant in Caddo Parish. This will be the global energy technology company’s first facility dedicated to producing and testing data center components, such as server room infrastructure and cooling systems, for SLB customers nationwide.

The company’s $18.5 million investment is expected to create 596 new direct jobs with an annual payroll of more than $50 million over the next three years. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 749 new indirect jobs, for a total of 1,345 new jobs in the Northwest Region.

“It’s hard to express just how much the former GM plant means to the people of northwest Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Bringing it back into commerce with new manufacturing jobs in a new sector is a historic milestone for economic growth, diversification and job creation in our state. SLB’s investment will breathe new life into this once-thriving business park and provide hundreds of new, high-paying jobs for our state’s skilled manufacturing workers. Louisiana finished 2022 with our highest levels of manufacturing employment in seven years, and with today’s announcement we see clear evidence of that positive momentum continuing in 2023 and beyond.”

Earlier this month, SLB signed a seven-year lease agreement with Shreveport Business Park to renovate and occupy 1 million square-feet of the former GM plant that has been vacant since 2012. Operations at the upgraded facility will produce a variety of components required in the construction of a data center, from cooling systems that help regulate equipment temperature to the infrastructure for server racks installation. Manufacturing will be done in-house at the Shreveport facility and products will then be shipped throughout the U.S. for installation by SLB customers. 

“SLB has a long history of driving energy innovation and leveraging our world-class integration skills for our global customers,” SLB Director of Data Centers Andrew Johnston said. “LED FastStart will be an important partner in helping us to find and train the skilled workforce that will make this project a success. We look forward to creating hundreds of quality jobs locally, and to becoming a valued part of the Shreveport community.”

Recruitment for the nearly 600 new positions will begin in the coming weeks. SLB expects renovations of the Antoine Boulevard facility to be complete early next year. Production is estimated to reach full capacity by the end of 2026. 

“The Caddo Commission welcomes this exciting news of additional economic development activity,” Caddo Commission President Roy Burrell said. “We stand fast to support this job development initiative to further reduce our unemployment rate by providing quality, well-paying jobs to support our middle-class growth.”

“The Industrial Development Board is proud to support and facilitate this exciting project,” Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board President Kyle McInnis said. “Not only is it a significant economic development success for our region, but it also breathes new life into the former GM facility. We’ve been waiting for a project of this scale since the Parish acquired that facility.”

To secure the project in Shreveport, the state of Louisiana offered SLB competitive incentives package which includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $4.5 million performance-based grant for building and infrastructure improvements upon meeting investment and employment targets. The company is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs program.

“The location of this new manufacturing facility in Caddo Parish is exciting news,” Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux said. “We look forward to almost 600 new jobs with excellent pay and benefits for our community. The city will do everything it can to help SLB succeed in our area. It’s a great day for northwest Louisiana and Shreveport!”

NLEP and its economic development partners began formal discussions with SLB about a potential Shreveport facility in March 2023. To secure the project, in addition to the state’s incentive package, the Parish of Caddo, the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board, and the City of Shreveport will provide expedited permitting and performance-based grants. These incentives are tied to the company’s commitment to well-paying jobs in the region.

“This win was made possible by the collaborative efforts of many groups and individuals,” North Louisiana Economic Partnership President and CEO Justyn Dixon said. “There has been a substantial shift in recent years for our community to work together and leverage the assets of North Louisiana, with Shreveport Business Park being a significant one. SLB, an incredible company, has acknowledged these efforts with their commitment to bring quality, well-paying manufacturing jobs to the area.”

The Shreveport MSA location was chosen by the company due to many reasons. Shreveport Business Park, managed by IRG, fits their needs as an existing manufacturing facility with the necessary utilities and infrastructure in place. In addition, the region provides a large, skilled, and trainable workforce to fill the company’s new positions within the needed hiring timeline. Lastly, the collaboration between state and local officials combined with the response time of the regional economic development organization working as a single point of contact to facilitate and be a champion of the economic development process was imperative to the company’s decision.

“Since the beginning of 2023, IRG has leased over 1.5 million square feet in Shreveport,” IRG President Stuart Lichter. “This success is the result of IRG’s long-term commitment to Shreveport— creating economic growth, reviving a massive industrial campus, and expanding job opportunities.”

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