SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Glass manufacturer Libbey Inc. plans to spend $20 million on new technology, research and development at its factory in Shreveport.
The Louisiana Economic Development department announced Tuesday that Libbey expects to create 70 jobs, with salaries averaging more than $38,000 per year, plus benefits, while retaining 511 existing Shreveport jobs.
The state says Libbey, based in Toledo, Ohio, will install new equipment over the next two years.
"This new investment in technology will enable us to compete more effectively in a broader marketplace," Libbey Inc. executive Dan Ibele said in the news release.
In February, Libbey cut at least 200 jobs at the Shreveport plant. It moved some equipment to Toledo and Monterey, Mexico, as it cut capacity in Shreveport and stopped making some products.
Louisiana says it offered Libbey incentives including a $500,000 Modernization Tax Credit to be claimed over five years after the investment is made. The company is also expected to claim other incentives including the state's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption.
Libbey could also claim Louisiana's Research and Development Tax Credit on qualified expenditures. For businesses with 100 or more employees, that incentive provides an 8 percent refundable tax credit.
The state didn't give an expected value for the entire incentive package.
Libbey announced a previous modernization of the Shreveport site in June 2011 with a $9 million renovation of an existing glassmaking furnace. The company completed that work. But because of later layoffs, Libbey wasn't able to redeem the incentives offered by the state in 2011.
Production and maintenance workers at the Shreveport plant are represented by the United Steelworkers union.
Libbey makes a wide range of dishes, glasses, vases and other products. It also sells ceramic dishes and metal utensils.