Economic Development News, Bathroom Humor Edition

We got this in the e-mail box today. I don’t know about you guys, but my threshhold for good news is such that I got jacked up about it. Maybe they’ll make some pf those urinal screen/Puck Caddy things that look like Nick Saban. Or some dead guy who works for the Taliban.

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and West Sanitation Services Inc. CEO Ben Elder announced the relocation of West Sanitation’s corporate headquarters from California to Baton Rouge and its manufacturing operations from Illinois to Baton Rouge. The relocation represents a $1.14 million capital investment and will create 44 new direct and indirect jobs.

A manufacturer and distributor of odor control products for commercial and institutional restrooms, West Sanitation will consolidate operations in a Beaumont Drive industrial building near Airline Highway in Baton Rouge. The company’s jobs will average more than $38,000 per year, plus benefits.

Governor Jindal said, “Every day, more and more companies are recognizing the value of operating their businesses in Louisiana – and their CEOs, boards of directors and employees are recognizing the great cost, infrastructure and business climate advantages of being based in Louisiana. In fact, since 2008, we’ve announced multiple job wins where companies are moving their headquarters or major operations to Louisiana. Phrases such as ‘Based in Louisiana,’ ‘Headquartered in Louisiana’ and ‘Made in Louisiana’ are now becoming the norm. Today’s announcement of West Sanitation’s relocation means that we are adding yet another company to this list who will now be ‘Based in Louisiana.’ West Sanitation could have gone to many other states, but they saw Louisiana as the best place to do business because of our low taxes, skilled workforce and business-friendly environment.”

Founded as a spinoff of West Chemical Products Inc. more than three decades ago, West Sanitation Services developed its own line of proprietary odor control products, which are sold and serviced throughout the U.S. by West Sanitation franchises and sold across the world through international distributorships. Currently, the company has 75 franchised units, 24 of which are company-owned.

“With our headquarters based in California and our manufacturing operations in Illinois, the current taxes and regulations in these states restricted our opportunities for growth and profitability,” said Elder, the president and CEO of West Sanitation. “The Governor’s staff and the state and local economic development agencies we worked with showed us our move is appreciated, welcomed and supported. We were courted seriously by other states, but in the end we decided that Louisiana offered the best opportunity.”

“West Sanitation is a great project for Baton Rouge. It is encouraging to see a company not only relocate in our area, but merge their operations from various cities while doing so,” said Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden of East Baton Rouge Parish. “I am confident that operating in Baton Rouge will allow the company to continue to thrive.”

“Having Mr. Elder, a Baton Rouge resident, return to our region and bring with him his company’s corporate headquarters attests to not only the economic competitiveness of our region, but the culture,” said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This relocation will consolidate West Sanitation’s manufacturing operations from Illinois and the corporate headquarters from California, bringing over one million dollars of payroll to the area. BRAC welcomes Mr. Elder back to the Baton Rouge area and looks forward to working with him as his business continues to grow.”

Manufacturing operations will begin in Baton Rouge by February 2012, with the headquarters transition from California to Louisiana completed by this summer.

About West Sanitation Services

West Sanitation specializes in the development of odor control services for a broad range of commercial and institutional customers. West has developed an exclusive line of proprietary odor control products that are distributed throughout the nation by West Sanitation franchises and sold globally through international distributorships. For more information, visit www.westsanitation.com.

Like I said, I’ll take anything I can get right now. Let’s make some stuff that makes the men’s room smell good!

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