Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries has filed 11 advance notices with Louisiana Economic Development for the state’s Enterprise Zone program.
Each of the notices says Turner plans to hire five new employees, with estimated new payroll listed as $175,000, or $35,000 per employee if split evenly five ways. Of the notices, five are for Baton Rouge properties. Other notices are for Sulphur, Port Allen, Hanville and West Monroe.
The filings aren’t connected to specific expansion plans, says Stephen Toups, president of Turner Industries, and are a symbol of the company’s “optimism for the future.” The company’s 2019 contracts were expiring, he says, and it tries to maintain current Enterprise Zone contracts with the state in case the company does hire.
The notices were filed through several sister entities of Turner Industries, including Turner Industrial Maintenance LLC, Turner Industrial Group LLC, Turner Specialty Services LLC and Turner Industries Group LLC.
The Enterprise Zone program is a jobs incentive program that gives new or existing Louisiana businesses income and franchise tax credits for creating new, full-time jobs. Benefits include a one-time $2,500 tax credit for each new job created.
Though Toups declined to share figures related to the company’s financial situation, he did say the company has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“You can look around and guess,” Toups says. “Planned construction is deferred out into the future and with the petrochemical business being impacted by oil and gas, we’ve got a few less people working, but we’re looking forward to bringing them back.”
In April, the company filed a WARN notice with the Louisiana Workforce Commission saying it was laying off 350 employees at three of its locations effective last Friday.
“We’re optimistic for what’s going to happen on the backside of COVID-19,” Toups says. “We’re looking for a lot of work that’s been deferred. I’m confident we’ll be hiring new people and bringing the company back to (pre-pandemic levels).”