LaGRANGE — A manufacturer of specialty films for food packaging and labels will relocate its its national headquarters and its research and development center in Troup County.
Jindal Films Americas, a global leader in films manufacturing, will expand an existing manufacturing facility in LaGrange, creating 240 jobs and investing $180 million in the community, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“It’s a mix of white collar and blue collar jobs,” said Kevin Frydryk, Jindal Films Americas sales director. “We’ll probably do more hiring locally than relocating, so we’ll have to hire and recruit for those jobs. This will probably be a stronger mix toward white-collar jobs because of the (research and development) and the headquarters relocation.”
The company, which is currently based outside Rochester, New York, expects to have the new facility built and equipment ready by the end of 2016, according to William Handy, the company’s marketing director.
Handy added that state and local officials provided significant incentives for Jindal Films Americas to bring their headquarters and research center to LaGrange.
“They were very aggressive in making sure we made this expansion in LaGrange, Georgia, versus other locations,” he said. “They were very cooperative, collaborative and expedient in trying to work with us. The incentives ranged from tax incentives to energy incentives.”
In addition to creating new jobs in both white and blue collar fields, the expansion of Jindal Films Americas will provide new revenue to the city through the sale of utilities, according to City Manager Tom Hall.
Gov. Nathan Deal in a press release praised the move as a sign of continued job growth.
“The relocation of JFA to Georgia demonstrates the strength and vitality of our manufacturing and technology sector,” Deal said. “… This demonstrates our continued commitment to companies already located in Georgia and those ready for expansion to a business-friendly environment.”
JFA is one of the world’s largest producers of biaxial oriented polypropylene, commonly used in potato chip bags and candy wrappers. The installation of a world-class 10.5 meter-wide orientation line will leverage the most advanced film technology available. It will also significantly expand JFA’s North America capacity to include new metalizing, coating and performance slitting capabilities.
“This investment reinforces JFA’s commitment to providing next generation solutions for our customers,” said Scott Van Winter, CEO of Jindal Films Americas. “We have a positive outlook on future demand for specialty BOPP (biaxial oriented polypropylene) films in the Americas. This is the first step in a significant growth plan that will bring new technology and expanded capabilities to our customers and partners well into the future.”
JFA and Jindal Polyfilms operate six manufacturing facilities in five countries as well as to two research and development technology centers. The company currently employs 500 personnel in the U.S., including 200 employees in Georgia. This relocation will create high-paying salaries in manufacturing, research and development and management positions.
“I am delighted that JFA will expand their production facility and relocate their U.S. headquarters and (research and development) center to LaGrange,” said Mayor Jim Thornton. “They are a great company, already active in our community, and their expansion and relocation further confirms LaGrange as a great place to do business and as a regional hub for advanced manufacturing.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development project manager E. Jane Caraway represented Georgia in relocation negotiations.
“We are excited to welcome JFA’s U.S. headquarter operation and R&D Center to Georgia,” said Chris Carr, state economic development commissioner. “JFA has a substantial economic influence in Troup County, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them as they strengthen their positive impact on this region.”
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.