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New industrial projects in West Baton Rouge could pump billions into economy, parish officials say

1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, December 07 2022 Dec 7, 2022 December 07, 2022 10:09 PM December 07, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN - Officials in West Baton Rouge are crunching the numbers for the year, and reporting exciting results. In the last year, the parish has made great strides with industrial and residential growth.

“We have several industrial projects going on and some really big ones that could start in 2023," said West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley "Peewee" Berthelot Jr.

A handful of industrial projects in the works could bring more jobs into the area. One project at Gron Fuels will create a renewable fuels facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge to produce renewable diesel and jet fuel. It would create up to 340 new jobs by 2024.

“They actually signed a contract with JetBlue to supply some jet fuel for them so it’s going to be a big project," Berthelot said.

Education is also getting a big boost on the west side with companies like DOW offering apprenticeships to high school students. The goal is for students to directly enter the workforce with certifications post-graduation.

A re-approval for the Reimagine School Systems grant means more funding for STEM programs in high schools. 

“What that’s going to do is give us funding for our schools to implement more STEM programs. So, whereas, kids are now graduating high school and having those skills to go into the workforce," said Anna Johnson, executive director of the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce.

While the parish is steadily investing into its people and industries, they're planting the seeds for a better future. 

“I think it’s going to get better, it’s just going to take a while to get there," Berthelot said.

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