Gov. Edwards Highlights 2019 Louisiana Manufacturing Week

SHREVEPORT, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted Sept. 29 through Oct. 5 as 2019 Louisiana Manufacturing Week, with a proclamation presented by secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development at Frymaster in Shreveport. With more than 400 professionals producing state-of-the-art commercial kitchen equipment, Frymaster is one of nearly 4,500 manufacturing establishments in Louisiana that employ 137,500 people. Details were shared in a press release.

“Too often, we take for granted the companies that make the essential products we need for daily living,” Gov. Edwards said. “Louisiana is blessed to be the home to thousands of manufacturing sites. They create and sustain some of our best-paying jobs, and they create goods that are the building blocks of so many other industries. We’re thankful to companies like Frymaster that continue to innovate, improve and invest in their operations and people, so that our manufacturing sector can thrive.”

LED FastStart®, the No. 1 state workforce training program in the U.S. for the past 10 years, supports expanding manufacturers throughout Louisiana as they recruit, screen, hire and train new talent. LED FastStart also leads Louisiana Manufacturing Week activities that will extend through Oct. 10. At the launch event in Shreveport, students from Stanley High School in Logansport attended and learned about Frymaster’s operations and career opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

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“Frymaster is proud to host the launch of Louisiana Manufacturing Week, in conjunction with the national Dream It. Do It. campaign,” said Frymaster Managing Director and Vice President Todd Phillips, who oversees the company’s Shreveport manufacturing complex that has been in business for more than eight decades. “As one of the world’s leading commercial food industry brands, we are proud to represent the Welbilt family of products by providing outstanding manufacturing careers here in Shreveport, where we are investing in our people and our products to meet the next-generation food equipment needs of our customers.”

LED FastStart coordinates Manufacturing Week with the Dream It. Do It. initiative created by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute in 2005. Last year, the Dream It. Do It. Louisiana campaign organized 145 activities involving 5,912 students across the state during Louisiana Manufacturing Week. The activities engaged students from elementary grades to postsecondary campuses in activities at a wide spectrum of Louisiana manufacturing locations.

“There’s a strong reason why we place special emphasis on the manufacturing industry during this annual observance,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Manufacturing jobs are fun, they’re creative, they build confidence in our people, and they bring tremendous value to our workforce. In Louisiana, the average manufacturing wage pays 68 percent more than the average wage for all jobs in our state. At LED, we’re proud to stand behind our manufacturers to help them grow, reinvest and continue being competitive for generations to come.”

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Today, the manufacturing industry in Louisiana relies heavily upon advanced technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and fast-paced work environments, which require advanced skills and result in rewarding careers. To facilitate workforce growth in the manufacturing industry, LED FastStart has developed the Certification for Manufacturing program, or C4M, to support companies across the state that have significant need for workers with entry-level manufacturing skills. The C4M program is currently being taught in Louisiana high schools and community and technical colleges. Frymaster has long been an advocate of manufacturing education in the state.

“Frymaster has been an anchor of the manufacturing industry in Shreveport for over 80 years,” said president Scott Martinez of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “The company’s commitment to this community is demonstrated by its support of North Louisiana Manufacturing Week and by opening its facility to high school tours. The phenomenal growth of this award-winning workforce initiative is due in part to the collaboration between NLEP and our local manufacturers. We look forward to partnering with Frymaster to keep its facility in Shreveport an outstanding leader in the manufacturing industry.”

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