Baton Rouge area set for industrial surge, but where will the workers come from?

(Photography by Don Kadair) Loren Scott

The labor forces of many industrial contractors in the Capital City are already maxed out and it could get a lot worse should an abundance of expected projects crank up later this year and into 2024. And of all of Louisiana’s metros, Greater Baton Rouge has the largest volume of work about to break ground.

Loren Scott, economist at Loren C. Scott & Associates in Baton Rouge, expects a spike of about 8,000 industrial workers, largely due to several impending capital projects in the chemicals and renewables sector such as Grön Fuels in Port Allen and the retrofit of the Shell plant in Convent.

“Baton Rouge has a host of capital projects with a 60 percent probability of breaking ground,” Scott says. “If you check with any engineering firm, most of them are slammed with front-end engineering and design work.

“There are all these signals out there that there will be a significant bump in the demand for workers. The question is, where are they going to get the folks? One electrical firm already has 100 positions to fill.”

Read the full story about the labor shortage from the latest edition of Business Report. Send comments to [email protected].