JEDCO And US Foods Announce Expansion Of F. Christiana Distribution Facility In Jefferson Parish
MARRERO, La. — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in partnership with Jefferson Parish and Louisiana Economic Development (LED), is pleased to announce that US Foods will make a significant investment to expand the company's F. Christiana distribution facility in Marrero. The company will retain 140 jobs currently in place and create an additional 45 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $46,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 38 new indirect jobs, for a total of 83 new jobs.
The investment will triple the size of the facility in support of expanding distribution opportunities across the region, increasing the facility's size from 70,000 to 200,000 square feet through construction of a new state-of-the-art distribution center. US Foods explored a wide variety of markets for the investment, with Louisiana ultimately selected.
"We are excited to strengthen our presence in Louisiana," said South Region President for US Foods Keith Knight. "This expansion will allow us to continue to grow and serve more customers throughout Louisiana. We would like to thank Louisiana Economic Development, Jefferson Parish and JEDCO for their continued efforts in making this possible."
F. Christiana is a broadline distributor of food and food-related products with more than 1,800 independent restaurant, hotel and convenience store customers in Louisiana, southern Mississippi and parts of southern Alabama. The company was acquired by US Foods in June 2017. Headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, US Foods is one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, serving approximately 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators. The company has 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations.
JEDCO, along with Jefferson Parish and LED, first began discussions with US Foods on its expansion in October 2017. JEDCO played a substantial role in the retention and expansion of US Foods in Jefferson Parish. The economic development organization was instrumental in identifying the needed infrastructure to improve the site and surrounding area and providing creative solutions to support and capture the company's significant investment. JEDCO acted as the coordinating agency throughout the project, bringing key players and entities to the table during discussions to support the needs of US Foods.
Additionally, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – the nation's No. 1 state workforce development program. The company will receive a performance based grant of $1.5 million to offset the cost of facility improvements and construction upgrades to the site and facility. Also, the company will receive a performance-based, forgivable loan of $561,000 from the state's Economic Development Award Program for infrastructure upgrades at the site. Additionally, the company is expected to participate in Louisiana's Enterprise Zone Program.
"This is a major economic development win for JEDCO and Jefferson Parish," said JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. "We are proud that this project will retain jobs in our community while also creating additional opportunities for employment, which is always a focus for our organization. Through the Jefferson EDGE 2020, the parish's long-term economic development strategic plan, JEDCO placed an emphasis on the success and growth of the local food & beverage industry. This is the second major food-related project announced in Jefferson Parish this year, resulting in a significant investment into the West Bank of Jefferson Parish."
The Jefferson Parish Council & Administration played a large role in the success of this project, securing funds to support infrastructure improvements on the site.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the expansion of US Foods in Jefferson Parish," said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. "We are welcoming one of the largest food distributors in the nation into our community, adding to the list of numerous national and international brands that choose to call Jefferson Parish home. This announcement is further proof that Jefferson Parish has become a destination for business. We look forward to a long relationship with US Foods."
"The Parish Council is proud to provide funding for infrastructure improvements around the US Foods site, making the entire area more development-ready," added District 2 Councilman Paul Johnston. "The investment into the area will help us attract prospective businesses, providing an additional economic boost to the West Bank of Jefferson Parish."
Construction on the facility expansion will begin in late 2018 and is expected to be fully operational by late 2020. Hiring for the new positions at the facility will begin soon after the expansion is completed.
"Combining a strategic infrastructure with a highly skilled workforce, Louisiana is an ideal location for US Foods to continue to invest and expand," Governor John Bel Edwards said. "The competition was stiff, but US Foods' investment in Marrero is a testament to the strength of Louisiana's business climate and cohesive partners on the state, regional and local levels who helped secure this great project win. Our collaboration demonstrates that we are committed to ensuring that businesses like US Foods and F. Christiana can grow, thrive and create outstanding career opportunities for our people."