Bernhard, one of the largest privately-owned engineering contractors in the country, transfer its corporate headquarters from Baton Rouge to Metairie sometime next year, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission announced today.
Bernhard officials did not return a call by this afternoon’s deadline for more details about the move. However, JEDCO CEO Jerry Bologna says the company’s Baton Rouge offices will remain open, but the office on United Plaza Boulevard will no longer serve as the company’s national headquarters. BRAC CEO Adam Knapp says that no jobs will be leaving Baton Rouge.
The news release from JEDCO says Benhard will open its new headquarters in The Galleria skyscraper in 2020, with 250 employees working there.
Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Matt Watson, whose district is home to the current Bernhard headquarters, says he hopes Jim Bernhard continues to expand BCP’s businesses in the area, even as this firm moves out.
“It’s always a shame to see a business relocating out of Baton Rouge, especially when Jim Bernhard and Mike Wampold were so instrumental in making MovEBR happen,” Watson says, noting that one purpose of the MovEBR effort was to draw and keep businesses in Baton Rouge.
Established in 1919, Bernhard is comprised of four companies: Bernhard Energy, Bernhard MCC, E.P. Breaux and Bernhard TME. The companies employ more than 2,000 people in 25 locations throughout the country. Bernhard is one of several portfolio companies owned by Bernhard Capital Partners Management LP, a private equity firm based in Baton Rouge.
“New Orleans meets the criteria we sought for our new headquarters, both in access and convenience for our team,” says Bernhard MCC President Philip Catanzaro in a statement. “This move will consolidate our growing New Orleans area workforce in one location to allow for greater collaboration and innovation and serve as an essential asset for our continued recruiting efforts and ever-expanding team.”
Greater New Orleans Inc. estimates the approximate 250 direct jobs in Bernhard’s new Metairie headquarters will help drive another 328 indirect and induced jobs in the energy and technology sectors, totaling more than $42 million in annual salaries and contributing nearly $60 million annually to the Greater New Orleans economy.
Editors note: This story has been updated with additional information and clarification about Bernhard’s plans.