COVINGTON, La. - A company that packed up its New Orleans headquarters after Hurricane Katrina is making its way back home.
Rain CII says a combination of the state's resilience and big economic growth over the past few years is behind what's bringing them back to their roots.
Gov. Bobby Jindal made the announcement Wednesday afternoon that the company, which has been based out of Houston since the storm, is building a new headquarters in the Covington area at the Northpark Business Park on Highway 190.
Rain CII has nine plants around the world, four of which are in Louisiana, with two in the metro New Orleans area. Work at those plants consists of turning petroleum coke, which is a by-product of the oil-refining process, into aluminum.
The company says along with bringing its headquarters back to Louisiana, it's also bringing 140 jobs, half of those will be new hires with six-figure salaries.
'We talk as a company about being resourceful, reliable and responsible in everything we do and we challenge our employees,' said CEO Gerry Sweeney. 'I can truly say I see that here in the state of Louisiana.'
The state and St. Tammany are more than ready to welcome Rain CII's operations hub back to town.
'It is coming home and it truly feels like coming home to us and we're so happy that they chose St. Tammany to come home to,' St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said.
'These headquarter jobs, every one of those employees will spend their money in local restaurants, local stores, many of those folks will buy homes or buy cars. Those dollars will go through this economy again and again benefiting the entire community,' Jindal said.
Rain CII plans to start building the new office at the beginning of 2014 and start hiring by the end of 2014.
The company is also committing to $65 million in upgrades to all four of its plants in Louisiana.