Proposals being taken for coastal programs

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, in collaboration with The Water Institute of the Gulf, is accepting submissions for its Applied Research and Coastal Innovation programs.

The Applied Research Program provides Louisiana-based researchers with funds to conduct engineering and scientific research to more effectively protect and restore coastal Louisiana.

Research topics under its request for proposal include but are not limited to:

Applied social science research and/or tool development activities to more effectively account for social indicators of recovery, risk perception, social capital and socioeconomic vulnerability in the Coastal Master Plan

Investigations of the effects of nutrients on coastal vegetation and soils

Field studies and data to support the application of soil cohort modeling or similar approaches into predictive models for the Coastal Master Plan

A comprehensive regional assessment of cost-effective, suitable and available sediment sources to satisfy restoration needs.

Institutions or organizations that apply must have an office in Louisiana and the principal investigator must be domiciled in Louisiana. Request for proposal submissions are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 6.

It is anticipated that about $250,000 will be available to fund up to five research projects, with up to two having total budgets less than $25,000.

For information, visit

The Coastal Innovation Partnership Program evaluates technologies and other innovations that could be used to achieve the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable approaches to project implementation, monitoring and adaptive management.

Individuals, teams and organizations are eligible to submit an application for review. Applications will be evaluated based on a number of criteria, including proven success in improving projects or program outcomes and relevance to the Coastal Master Plan.

Pre-applications are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 5. For more information, visit

Secorp opens district office in Hobbs, N.M.

Lafayette-based Secorp Industries, a safety services and equipment provider for the oil and gas industry, has opened a district office in Hobbs, New Mexico.

This facility’s location allows Secorp to provide rapid response times to clients in the northern Permian Basin region.

Tye Rorie is district supervisor, responsible for daily operations within the office. Cris Barber is area manager, overseeing the company’s activity within the region.

Newpark Mats filling Carencro positions

Newpark Mats and Integrated Services in Carencro has launched a virtual job fair to fill 30 positions at its newly expanded manufacturing facility in Carencro.

The job fair is being supported by the state’s LED FastStart workforce development program.

Newpark’s Carencro site manufactures composite mats for drill-site construction and other applications.

The online job fair can be found at Positions include equipment operators, roustabouts, technical services representatives and manufacturing operators. Newpark operates with a flexible schedule, featuring rotating 12-hour shifts. No specific work experience is mandatory, but Newpark requires a high school diploma or equivalent certificate.

All candidates must be able to pass a pre-employment background check, drug screening and medical exam.

In addition to doubling the size of the manufacturing facility, the company is also developing a new Research & Development and Technology Center at the site, which is expected to result in six additional new jobs. Statewide, Newpark employs 270 people.

Storage business changes owner, name

All Parish Storage, a Prairieville business, has gotten new owners and will be renamed Skid Marks Storage Pros.

Miles and Melissa Holley, who own the four Skid Marks Tire Pros locations in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and Denham Springs, bought the storage business at 38068 Post Office Road.

Skid Marks Storage Pros has 107 mini-storage units, along with secure boat and RV storage. The storage units are available in climate-controlled and nonclimate-controlled.

VarTech Systems moves to Industriplex office

VarTech Systems, a manufacturer of specialized industrial and military-grade computer and LCD displays, has moved into a new sales and service center at 11422 Industriplex Blvd.

Fred Goodspeed, of VarTech, said the new office is close to the company’s former offices at 11529 Sunbelt Court, but offers more visibility. The offices are about the same size as the former location.

“There was a lot of unused space in the old building,” Goodspeed said. “This location is better suited for our sales and marketing departments.”

VarTech, which has had a presence in Baton Rouge since 1988, has about 12 local employees. The company is headquartered in Clemmons, North Carolina, and has a manufacturing and service center in Horsham, Pennsylvania.