The news about Georgia Pacific’s Port Hudson facility was difficult to hear. Whenever a long-standing community supporter makes decisions like this, the loss affects company employees. It also results in a ripple impacting contractor and supplier jobs that are essential to making these facilities go.
Even with yesterday’s disappointing news, hundreds of our family members, neighbors and friends in the Capital Region can begin the next chapter of their working lives now. These new opportunities are available because companies are willing to invest in this area of Louisiana.
Within hours of yesterday’s news breaking, ExxonMobil contacted our organization to inform us that they are interested in considering some of the affected engineers and operators for positions at the company’s sites in East and West Baton Rouge parishes. Yesterday, Dow Chemical announced that it is seeking applicants for a new apprenticeship program and there are many other projects underway in the area at facilities such as Methanex, Wanhau, and others in the region.
Companies, like ExxonMobil, need skilled professionals, because they want to invest more in the Capital Region. They are working with our community college and university systems to train more and more workers, who are building their careers at area facilities.
Alexander Graham Bell said, ‘When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.’ Now is the time for us to see the open doors and stop arguing about attracting investment to the Capital Region.
As a community, we need to embrace new investment, because it creates opportunity out of difficulty.
GBRIA is here to help and support in what way we can. We encourage affected employees, contractors and suppliers to contact us.