Louisiana Economic Development (LED) inform that Gov. Bobby Jindal has presented Metal Shark Boats, (headquartered in Jeanerette in Iberia Parish) with the Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
The Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence is periodically awarded by the governor to businesses that grow and provide more opportunity, more jobs and more commerce for the state of Louisiana. Metal Shark Boats has grown from an employment of 75 in 2012 to 200 employees today.
LED explains that Metal Shark Boats continues to expand production of boats up to 40 feet in length at its original shipyard, filling customer orders for the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, law enforcement and conservation agencies, and commercial companies.
The company is also further expanding in Louisiana, building a new shipyard to manufacture 48-foot to 75-foot boats for commercial pilots, ports and government agencies. That 60,000-square-foot facility will open by July in Franklin, Louisiana, in nearby St. Mary Parish.
Founded as Gravois Aluminum Boats three decades ago in Jeanerette, the company initially produced custom recreational boats revered by Gulf Coast fisherman. The challenge of declining recreational sales led the company to refocus its production on military and commercial models, where it has excelled, manufacturing a current average of 170 boats per year.
Gov. Jindal said, “I’m proud to present Metal Shark Boats with this award to commemorate the company’s success and economic growth here in Jeanerette and in Franklin. We’ve now visited Metal Shark Boats three times since 2012, and each time we leave this innovative company is already making plans for further expansion and more jobs."
"Very few companies illustrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Louisiana like Metal Shark Boats, which has expanded its facilities to create more high-quality boats that will better protect the men and women of the U.S. military and law enforcement.
While continuing to expand production in Jeanerette, the company will install a 150-ton marine travel lift in Franklin, supporting its capacity to build boats of up to 250 feet in length in the future as it responds to growing demand from the offshore oil and gas industry as well as other markets. In addition, the company is reintroducing its legacy line of Gravois recreational aluminum boats and will adapt some Metal Shark hulls for the recreational market.
Pictured: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (second from left) with Metal Shark vice president Greg Lambrecht, facilities manager Brendan Gravois, president Chris Allard, general manager Jonathan Gravois, and vice president Matt Unger. In the background, "Skipjack II," a new Metal Shark 29' Defiant built for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
For more information visit: www.metalsharkboats.com