Cameron officials and Governor Bobby Jindal announced the expansion of Cameron’s Ville Platte facility Thursday, September 25, during a groundbreaking ceremony.
The expansion is one of the most significant investments Cameron has made, according to President Jim Wright, and will cost $49 million and consist of a new 125,000 square foot facility. In addition to retaining over 500 current jobs, the expansion will create 110 new jobs with an average annual salary of $49,000. Wright said Ville Platte was chosen after considering a variety of existing sites in other states.
“This expansion project is Cameron’s second largest manufacturing capital investment worldwide. The expansion will secure Ville Platte’s future in the valve manufacturing industry,” said Cameron Valves and Measurement Plant Manager Josh Stanford.
Jindal, who praised the project and Cameron for their decision to expand in this area, said, “Our announcement today represents a continuing commitment to support the development of this outstanding company, one of Louisiana’s leading employers, and is an example of our increased focus on business retention and expansion in our state. This expansion project could have happened at any of Cameron’s facilities around the world, but it is happening here because Louisiana made this company and this parish a priority.”
Jindal credited the employees hard work as the deciding factor when Cameron was reviewing possible areas to expand. “It is because of you men and women and your hard work at this facility that gave these men the confidence that expanding its business in Ville Platte was a great idea. They could have done this anywhere, but they chose here and that is a testament to all of you.”
During his speech, Jindal said the state will continue to work with existing industries in Louisiana because existing businesses are the number one creator of new jobs in this state.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony. During a speech to the crowd of employees and dignitaries, he said, “We are delighted Cameron has chosen Ville Platte as the site for its manufacturing facility expansion. Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the importance of nurturing Louisiana businesses that continue to invest in Louisiana and its workers.”
Senator Eric LaFleur and Representative Bernard LeBas also were both on hand for the event. LaFleur, who was instrumental during Cameron’s dealing with the state, according to Wright, said this expansion meant great things for Ville Platte.
“Cameron approached me about two years ago regarding the expansion,” LaFleur said. “Senator Hines and I had both our local and corporate Cameron people meet directly with then-governor Kathleen Blanco. Governor Jindal’s secretary for Economic Development, Stephen Moret, and undersecretary, Don Pierson, kept the ball rolling.
“It’s great for Louisiana and particularly special for Evangeline Parish. This Cameron facility in Ville Platte accounts for 70 percent of all large pipeline valves used in North America and approximately 30 percent of all large valves used worldwide. This is truly an international operation and we are fortunate to have them here.”