NEW ORLEANS, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Iriapak executive Jeffrey Crevoiserat announced the company will make a $7 million capital investment to establish a packaging film manufacturing facility in eastern New Orleans. An Italian company founded in 1978, Iriapak manufactures packaging for home paper products, such as paper towels and tissue. The New Orleans mill will be the company’s first North American location.
Iriapak will create 25 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $38,953, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 28 new indirect jobs, for a total of 53 jobs in the Southeast Region of Louisiana.
“From Boeing’s work on NASA’s Space Launch System to the recent return of Dixie Beer, New Orleans East has been trending as a center of advanced manufacturing,” Gov. Edwards said. “We are happy to welcome another international investment to the region with the arrival of this Italian company. Our skilled Louisiana workforce and the state’s strong support for manufacturing industries should make this an ideal location for Iriapak’s first production plant in North America.”
The company will occupy a New Orleans industrial site that had been vacant since it was badly damaged by a February 2017 tornado. Located just off Old Gentilly Road in the New Orleans Regional Business Park, the building was once a Lockheed Martin facility.
“I worked in Louisiana for 15 years after graduating from Tulane University, and I have long had a desire to find my way back to Louisiana and to contribute something to the state that was so influential in my life,” Crevoiserat said. “Our location in New Orleans East offers incredible access to the entire East Coast of the U.S. logistically; an immense labor market; a regulatory infrastructure that wants to work with us and welcomes us; and exceptional port facilities for us to import materials and export product.”
LED began discussions with Iriapak about a potential manufacturing facility in April 2018. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 10 years. The package also includes a performance-based grant of up to $250,000 for site infrastructure improvements, based on the company meeting benchmarks for capital investment and job creation. Iriapak also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“The approval by the City Council of an incentive package for Iriapak is a seminal win for the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans East community,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “This is the first project to be approved under the new ITEP rules that this administration and council created to protect our local tax base and guide investment. Iriapak’s investment will bring an international company to the city, create up to 25 high-quality jobs and continue the drumbeat of investment in the East and in the Regional Business Park, which has seen the recent opening of Crescent Crown and Dixie Brewery. The incentive comes with the much-needed provision that living-wage jobs will be created that pay at least $18 an hour for our residents. We thank Iriapak for recognizing New Orleans as a strategic location for investment, and we look forward to continuing to work with Iriapak and future investors to ensure the success of their companies.”
“The attraction of Iriapak is a major win for the greater New Orleans region and, more specifically, the New Orleans East community,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Our region is uniquely positioned to grow the advanced manufacturing sector – bringing in new jobs and outside investments that directly benefit our people. The Iriapak deal also represents a smart and strategic use of ITEP. We commend the City of New Orleans for their responsible use of this important incentive tool, as we all work to build an economy that works for everyone.”
“We enthusiastically welcome Iriapak to New Orleans and, specifically, New Orleans East,” said President and CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “The business opportunities in New Orleans East are numerous. Iriapak’s decision to open its first North American facility in this critically important neighborhood is reflective of that fact.”
Iriapak produces and prints film for flexible packaging in polyethylene and polypropylene for automatic packaging machines. The company was founded in Italy in 1978 by Pasqualino Pannunzio, who succeeded in developing technical skills that drive success of the company’s packaging film products. For more information, visit Iriapak.it/eng.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.