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The Associated Press July 28, 2011, 4:58PM ET

Bag manufacturer to build Louisiana plant

Specialty bag maker Ronpak Inc. said Thursday that it will spend $16.8 million to build a manufacturing plant at the Port of Shreveport-Bossier, creating 175 jobs.

The project will be the third manufacturing plant for Ronpak, which is based in South Plainfield, N.J. Besides a New Jersey plant, the company also has a manufacturing facility in Mira Loma, Calif.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said Louisiana won a site selection competition with three other states.

Under a deal with the state, Ronpak will receive a $3.55 million performance-based grant for equipment purchases as the company meets payroll targets. The company also is eligible for rebates for creating new jobs and state-supported training for its workers.

Hiring is scheduled to begin in September with plant completion scheduled for the end of 2012. Construction of the 155,000-square-foot plant is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Company owner Ron Sedley said the company chose Louisiana "because of the quality of the people and the quality of the training programs."

"It was key to have a great work force that would be well-trained from the start," he said.

Ronpak's lineup of products includes paper carryout bags, pharmacy bags, bakery bags, sandwich and liquor bottle bags, sandwich wrappers and french fry bags, cookie bags and foil bags.

According to Ronpak's web site, the company was founded in 1947 in New York City by Nathan Sedley, a pharmacist who purchased equipment to make specialty bags during a trip to Europe. Encouraged by the reception his packaging received, he left the pharmacy business and started Ronpak.

The company moved to an expanded plant in South Plainfield in 1956 and added its Mira Loma plant in 1985.

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