Metal Shark Aluminum Boats is investing about $1.5 million
in expansion plans that may include expanding its current facilities,
establishing a second yard, or both. About half of the funding for Jeanerette, La.-based
shipyard’s expansion will come from the state of Louisiana.
Shark will continue production of its major U.S. Coast Guard Response Boat —
Small contract, fulfilling an order for nearly 500 of the new RBSes for the Coast
Guard's Homeland Security response, and the expansion will boost production of
more than two dozen other models ranging in size from 16' to 60'.
got a good backlog of work, but we’re working on a contract — it’s not a done
deal yet — that would involve a bigger boat and a different configuration than
the boats we’re now building,” said Jimmy Gravois, one of Metal Shark’s owners.
“Right now we trailer the boats we build to the water. This new boat would
require us to be next to the water.”
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) sent out a statement saying that the
expansion will create 88 new direct jobs, with an average salary of more than
$62,000, plus benefits, and LED estimates the project will result in an
additional 134 new indirect jobs, for a total of 222 new jobs. The project will
also create 25 construction jobs while retaining 144 existing Metal Shark
said the Port of Iberia, La., is currently turning 100 acres of property into new
tracks and digging a new slip. “That’s certainly one place we’re looking at,”
he said. “We take our boats there now to launch them anyway.”
May 2012, Louisiana Gov. Gov. Jindal dedicated a previous expansion of Metal
Shark's facilities in Jeanerette, after the company was awarded the $192 million Coast Guard RBS contract in November 2011. The company is also building other
boat classes for the Coast Guard, Navy, local law enforcement
agencies and foreign agencies.
announcement is a win for Acadiana and our entire state,” Jindal said in the
LED statement. “Metal Shark and other companies continue to invest and expand in
Louisiana because of our strong business climate and our incomparable
state began working with Metal Shark on the current expansion project in
November and will provide the company with a $750,000 Economic Development
Loan Program award, along with the services of LED FastStart, the nation's
top-rated state workforce development program. Metal Shark also is expected to
utilize the state's Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
Construction will begin later this year and hiring for Metal Shark's new jobs
is under way.
continued support of Louisiana Economic Development has been key to Metal
Shark's success over the past few years," Chris Allard, Metal Shark’s
co-owner and president, said in a prepared statement. "These pro-business
incentives will enable Metal Shark to sustain its rapid growth by doubling
manufacturing capacity over the next 12 months and increasing workforce by at
least 30 percent over the next four years. Metal Shark is excited to announce
this major facilities expansion, creating the potential for the production of
larger vessels greater than 50 feet in length."