Jeanerette boat builder to expand, adding 88 jobs

A boat builder in Jeanerette announced Monday it plans to increase the size of its shipyard and add 88 jobs in a $1.52 million expansion to accommodate more orders for police, military and commercial marine vessels, according to a news release by the Governor’s Office.

Metal Shark Boats’ expansion also will add 134 indirect jobs and 25 temporary construction jobs, according to calculations by Louisiana Economic Development.

“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,” company President Chris Allard said.

A bigger facility will “boost production of more than two dozen other production models ranging in size from 16 to 60 feet,” the release stated.

In November 2011, Metal Shark Boat was awarded a $192 million contract to build Coast Guard vessels, and by May the company had completed its first expansion to handle the contract, the release stated.

LED late last year started working with the company on its expansion plans to line up $750,000 from LED’s Economic Development Loan Program and also work with the department’s workforce development program to train workers, the release stated.

The company also will use state tax exemptions, the release states.

Allard said Metal Shark Boats’ will double manufacturing capacity over the next year and will increase its employee roster by 30 percent, according to the release.

Metal Shark Boats builds boats for government clients including the Coast Guard, Navy, Army and law enforcement agencies.

The company is a subsidiary of Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, according to the release.

At the announcement Monday, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Allard and Mike Tarantino, Iberia Industrial Development Foundation president and chief executive officer.