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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 19:08

Louisiana Business: Clement Industries, BP Settlement, Fitch, FEMA, St. Bernard

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louisianaJindal and Louisiana economic development—Clement industries

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that Clement Industries, a North Louisiana manufacturer of industrial trailers, will expand its business by adding 25 jobs while retaining 83 existing employees. 


Governor Jindal said, “Clement Industries has been a stronghold of the Minden, Louisiana 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."

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. 

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.

“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.”

(Jindal Press release)

Louisiana Business shorts:

SafeAuto Insurance Selects Guidewire for Underwriting, Policy Administration, Billing and Claims Management

Hal W. Wooden Joins RF Industries as Vice President of Sales

Magellan Health Services Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Financial Results

Crosstex Energy Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2011 Results

Click here Read these stories and latest Louisiana Business news on Bayoubuzz

Louisiana High School Athletic Association

ArbiterSports, a company involved with referee management solutions, today announced that the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) has selected its online referee management system to assign football officials across the state. During 2012, the association will expand the online assigning capability to handle additional high school sports in Louisiana where officials are needed.  “With this move to ArbiterSports, we can not only streamline our processes dramatically, we can also deliver targeted feedback to each official after each game.”

BP Oil settlement

"With the BP oil spill trial being postponed until March 5 for settlement talks reports have been suggesting that a $15-$30 billion payment is likely. Such amounts may prove to be inadequate to repair the Gulf.  Allowing a company of BP’s size – it netted $25.7 billion in profits in 2011 – to pay significantly less than what is authorized by law, what it can afford, and what is needed to restore the Gulf would send the wrong message about accountability for environmental wrongdoing of this magnitude.  John Kostyack, vice president for wildlife conservation at the National Wildlife Federation analyzes the liability of BP and other defendants and describes NWF’s expectations for any settlement"

For more National Wildlife Federation news visit

St. Bernard and FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today more than $5.5 million in public assistance funding to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office for contents damaged during Hurricane Katrina.  "The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office is grateful for all the hard work of dedicated FEMA officials without whose efforts we would not have been able to recover to the extent we have," said St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens. "We also want the public to understand this money doesn't represent a check coming to us that we can use for anything we want. This is money already obligated for recovery efforts."

To date, including this recent consolidated grant, FEMA has provided approximately $93.2 million in funding to SBSO for recovery efforts related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Fitch and Louisiana Student Loans

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the senior student loan notes issued by Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, series 2011A at 'AAAsf.' The Rating Outlook, which is tied to the sovereign rating of the U.S. government, remains Negative.

Fitch used its 'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria,' 'U.S. FFELP Student Loan ABS Rating Criteria', and 'Rating U.S. Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS' to review the ratings.

Fitch has taken the following rating actions:

Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, Series 2011A:

--Class A-1 affirmed at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Negative.

--Class A-2 affirmed at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Negative.

--Class A-3 affirmed at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Negative.

Additional information is available at ''. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

U.S. FFELP Student Loan ABS Surveillance Criteria

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

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