Weyerhaeuser Expansion in Natchitoches - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Weyerhaeuser Expansion in Natchitoches

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NATCHITOCHES, La. - Natchitoches is known for its rich history. But Monday, Governor Bobby Jindal announced a step forward for the future of Natchitoches.

News Channel 5's Kathleen Witte spoke with the governor today about new plans and new jobs on their way to that area.

Sydney Frederick and his Natchitoches store, Kaffie Frederick General Mercantile, have called Front Street home for a long time.

Sydney Frederick: "Kaffie Frederick has been here since 1863. 149 years."

But Frederick says, he doesn't mind sharing.

Frederick: "I believe we are a business friendly environment that tries to accommodate other businesses that come into town."

That's why he's happy to hear about the Weyerhaeuser expansion in Natchitoches. Monday, Governor Jindal announced a $6 million investment that will create 30 new jobs in the forest products plant.

Gov. Jindal, R-Louisiana: "You look at the national recession going on, the fact that Weyerhaeuser is investing here shows that Louisiana can compete with any state, or any country, for investment in new jobs."

But Governor Jindal says it doesn't stop at just those 30 jobs. He predicts it will indirectly create more than 70 jobs as well. That means 100 new jobs in Natchitoches.

Gov. Jindal: "It's another chance for 100 families will have jobs, will have the ability to pay their bills, pursue their dreams, right here in Louisiana."

Plant manager Steve Story says he's thrilled at the expansion--and not just because he's getting upgraded equipment and more employees.

Steve Story, Weyerhaeuser plant manager: "I think it's excellent for the community. Though we're adding 30 jobs here, the ripple effect in a small town such as Natchitoches is very positive, very beneficial for the state."

Sydney Frederick agrees. He says he loves Natchitoches, and he thinks everyone else should have a chance to love it, too.

Frederick: "More business is good. We have I-49 and a highway 6 and highway 1, and all roads seem to lead here."

Hiring for the new direct jobs is already under way, and the new construction is expected to be completed in the next two years.

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