MINDEN, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Clement Industries, a north Louisiana manufacturer of industrial trailers, announced the company will expand its business by adding 25 jobs while retaining 83 existing employees. Located on Interstate 20 between Sibley and Minden, the trailer manufacturer projects 20 percent sales growth in 2012 beyond the 90 percent increase it experienced in 2011. Clement's goal is to cut its current six-month backlog in half by hiring additional welders and welder trainees.
Gov. Jindal said, "Clement Industries has been a stronghold of the Minden, La., economy for decades, manufacturing quality trailers for commercial construction, highway construction, salvage and other key markets that keep our state and national economies moving. Clement's expansion is a great example of why we need to improve our schools in Louisiana. For our economy to continue to grow, and for us to continue to have businesses expand and new companies come to Louisiana, we need to make sure our workforce is better prepared. The bottom line is that education and our economy are uniquely linked.
"Our education reform plan will reward teachers, give more choices to families, and give school leaders more flexibility to invest in programs that help students succeed. In turn, our students will be better prepared in the classroom and for a career in the 21st century workforce."
To help Clement Industries expand, Louisiana Economic Development will provide customized solutions through LED FastStart®, the Louisiana workforce development program ranked No. 1 in the U.S. by Business Facilities magazine. Prospective employees will be recruited from markets throughout the region, including Shreveport - 20 miles to the west - Springhill and Ruston. All interested applicants should apply through their area Louisiana Workforce Commission Career Solutions Center.
Jorden Industries, a privately held business based in Birmingham, Ala., bought Clement Industries in 2007 with a goal of long-term investment to expand Clement's sales through independent dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Economic recovery in many construction and transportation markets is rapidly building the company's business, and Clement targets hiring the 25 new employees by May, with additional employment growth likely after that.
"We've invested in our plant and people, we've become a great environment to work in, and we're training toward becoming a world-class manufacturer," Clement Industries Plant Manager Les Quay said. "From what I've learned about FastStart so far, I'm impressed with the capabilities they have. By partnering with them, I think the training process should go a lot smoother, because they've done it before."
Companies that are aligned with Louisiana's economic development targets and that create a net of at least 15 new manufacturing jobs or a net 50 new service jobs can become eligible for LED FastStart, which includes customized recruitment, screening and training services for new and expanding employers in the state. The North Louisiana Economic Partnership, based in Shreveport and Monroe and representing 14 Louisiana parishes, connected leaders from Clement Industries and Jorden Industries with LED and FastStart, based on Clement's need for newly trained employees.
"North Louisiana Economic Partnership is excited that Jorden Industries will be expanding and adding new jobs in a more rural part of northern Louisiana," said NLEP President Kurt Foreman. "NLEP and its partners have been working with Jorden Industries and its predecessor, Clement Industries, in Minden, La., for years. We have supported the company, as one of our long-term clients, and its growth plans by connecting it to state and local resources. Most recently, NLEP's workforce marketing program, NEON, has partnered with LED FastStart to address the company's labor needs."
About Clement Industries
Founded in 1976, Clement Industries is a leading manufacturer of high-capacity trailers for commercial, industrial and utility customers. The company distributes trailers through an independent dealer network in the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, Clement will introduce a new side-dump trailer to complement its existing inventory of dump trailers. Other products include scrap and demolition trailers, bottom-dump trailers, pup trailers, roll-off trailers, bathtub-end trailers, dump bodies, end-dump rock trailers and aluminum trailers. For more information, visit www.clementind.com.