Construction starts on Emerson’s Gonzales service center

Emerson Process Management started construction Tuesday on its $16.7 million service center and regional headquarters in Gonzales.

The site off South Burnside Avenue is adjacent to the new campus of River Parishes Community College that has been under construction for several months.

Marlin Wilson, EPM’s regional manager, said the 130,000-square-foot center will open in November and add 129 jobs in Ascension Parish. Emerson has 97 existing jobs in Ascension Parish.

Because the center also will serve other Emerson operations in Louisiana, the state will gain an additional 89 jobs, Wilson said.

Some of the students at RPCC will be able to use the center to enhance their education by studying digital control services, Wilson said.

EPM is a subsidiary of Emerson, a global conglomerate in St. Louis that had total sales of $24.7 billion in fiscal year 2013 and finished at 123rd on the Fortune 500.

Jerry Major, vice president and general manager of Emerson’s instrument and valve service business, based in Marshalltown, Iowa, said the Gonzales center will host six Emerson companies.

Major said the facility will place “flow labs and advanced training all under one roof.”

“That makes this our next-generation service center.”

Flow labs test flow meters used to determine whether liquids and gases are moving properly through industrial processes used by Emerson customers, said Jody Overshiner, the company’s regional manager for its flow group in Baton Rouge.

The new center in Gonzales also will be able to repair flow meters, Overshiner said.

“This is the first center of its kind,” Overshiner said. “It’s truly unique.”

“This site’s dedicated training facility provides the step change to help continue to educate and train the workforce of the future on the latest diagnostics, machining and calibration techniques, custom valve manufacturing, hydro testing and remote monitoring,” Major said.