Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED is considering a $42 million investment to expand its bottling facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The proposed project would create 15 direct new jobs.
The expansion would include constructing 120,000 square-feet of additional warehouse space, allowing for upgrades and new machinery. The new jobs, if created, would supplement the current 558 jobs, which will be retained on site at the facility, according to Louisiana Economic Development (LED).
“We are proud of Coca-Cola’s 115-year history in Baton Rouge, and we are excited about the potential of this investment and its benefits to our associates, customers, consumers and local communities throughout Louisiana,” said Susanne Hall, Coca-Cola UNITED West Region Vice President. “The consideration of this expansion speaks to our commitment to Louisiana and providing high quality service for years to come. We look forward to working with both state and local community stakeholders as we move forward in this process.”
With the expansion, the total size of the facility would increase to 900,000 square feet, which follows the company’s announcement that it plans to invest more than $15 million for renovations at its Lafayette distribution facility. Both planned investments are part of the company’s long-term investment strategy to meet the growing demand of customers along the Gulf Coast.
“On behalf of the State of Louisiana, I am proud to welcome this potential new expansion by Coca-Cola UNITED in Baton Rouge,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Louisiana has long been a part of Coca-Cola UNITED’S territory, and we are hopeful their state-of-the-art facility in Baton Rouge will stay on the cutting edge with the latest in distribution and supply chain technology. The retention of more than 550 jobs and the creation of 15 new jobs is a testament to the highly-skilled Louisiana workforce.”
To secure the expansion at Coca-Cola UNITED’s Baton Rouge facility, Louisiana would provide the company with a $300,000 modernization grant to support the expansion. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“We’re excited to see such an engaged corporate citizen like Coca-Cola UNITED compete for investment funding for the future success of its Baton Rouge location,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This project could add 15 new permanent jobs at its Plank Road facility, and, more importantly, modernize its technology to keep it at the cutting edge and protect hundreds of existing jobs. We hope East Baton Rouge can secure this project for the benefit of jobs in north Baton Rouge and the region as a whole.”
The company operates bottling facilities and distribution centers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, as well as sales and distribution centers in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. Statewide, Coca-Cola UNITED employs more than 2,100 Louisiana residents.