[StBernard] Governor Blanco, Secretary Olivier continue aggressive recruitment of $2.9 billion steel mill; bipar

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Feb 27 22:24:44 EST 2007

Governor Blanco, Secretary Olivier continue aggressive recruitment of $2.9 billion steel mill; bipartisan Legislative delegation joins in talks

DUISBURG, GERMANY - Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's efforts to recruit a $2.9 billion steel mill continue in Germany this week, where she and Economic Development Secretary Mike Olivier are leading a team in ongoing discussions with ThyssenKrupp. Earlier this month, the German steelmaker announced Louisiana and Alabama as finalists for a new state-of-the-art steel and stainless steel manufacturing facility in the United States.

"Louisiana is poised to cross the finish line in the race for this monumental investment," Governor Blanco said. "I have included key legislative leaders in this final phase of the competition, and together with Economic Development Secretary Mike Olivier, I am confident my unified economic development team will successfully pitch Louisiana as a great place for this new industry."

Accompanying Gov. Blanco and Sec. Olivier on this week's trip are Senate President Donald Hines (D-Bunkie), House Speaker Joe Salter (D-Florien), Senate Finance Committee Chair Francis Heitmeier (D-New Orleans), House Appropriations Committee Chair John Alario (D-Westwego), Republican Caucus Chair Tom Schedler (R-Slidell) and Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans).

"The very fact that Louisiana is still in the game sends a clear signal to the business community that our state has what it takes to bring in top level investors," said Sen. Hines. "We have known for years Louisiana is a great place to do business, and now we stand together sending that message across the globe."

Speaker Salter added, "We were proud to stand with Governor Blanco during the December Special Session to provide the incentives that are keeping us competitive. That commitment spoke volumes to this company, and our presence here this week drives the point home - we are serious about landing this mill."

"Our entire state stands to benefit from a project of this size for generations to come," Sen. Schedler said. "If we are to bring home these much-needed jobs for our people, it's important we stay united in this effort. I am proud to join this team in recruiting this project."

"This steel mill represents the kind of company our Governor has sought to recruit - one that provides good-paying jobs with meaningful benefits," added Rep. Richmond. "This doesn't just affect prospective employees of the mill, it raises the expectations of what future employers must provide, and that's ultimately a better quality of life for Louisiana."

The group left Sunday for the trip, which continues until Wednesday.


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