Aptim Maintenance LLC is eliminating 344 jobs stemming from the loss of a contract on a plant project that's been delayed in southwest Louisiana.
The Aptim layoff was among two other unrelated notifications to the Louisiana Workforce Commission: Compass Health Network is exiting its Pineville and Lake Charles markets, resulting in 121 lost jobs, and food services company Aramark Campus Services LLC lost a contract with Grambling State University that supported 135 jobs, many of which may go to the company awarded the contract.
Aptim, headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, told the state agency that it lost a contract with Juniper Specialty Products LLC on May 21. Juniper Specialty Products is building a manufacturing plant to convert natural gas into paraffinic waxes used in adhesives, coatings, construction materials and consumer goods, according to its website.
“Juniper’s decision was due to its own business circumstances,” Michelle Council, Aptim’s president of oil, gas and chemical, wrote in the layoff notification letter to the state. “Aptim was performing its duties under the contract well and expected to continue to do so though the completion of this construction project.”
Juniper Specialty Products said Thursday that it paused construction at its Westlake site.
"In the coming months, the company intends to complete detailed engineering in order to ensure an efficient restart and completion of construction and commissioning activities," according to a statement from its CEO, Chris Mudd. "Juniper remains committed to a safe and successful start-up of the Juniper plant."
Some of the employees may continue work until the end of July, Aptim's letter said.
In September 2013, Juniper announced it planned to invest $100 million to renovate an otherwise inactive steam methane reformer in the Westlake area and convert it into a natural gas to liquids facility. At the time, the company estimated it would create 29 new jobs at the plant, with an average salary of $85,000.
Between 2007 and 2017, Vianney Vales was president of Juniper and its sister company SGC Energia, according to his LinkedIn profile. Vales made the announcement of the plant alongside then-Gov. Bobby Jindal. Mudd, now CEO of Juniper, has been in the role as of 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Compass Health Network, a nonprofit health care organization which does business as Pathways, filed a notice expected to impact 121 employees across Louisiana as of June 30. The Clinton, Missouri-based nonprofit, which provides primary care and dental services, is exiting the state entirely with the move. The Louisiana locations impacted include four offices in Pineville and its Pathways Community Health treatment center in Lake Charles, according to the letter to the state agency. The types of jobs being eliminated range from addiction recovery technicians to therapists, psychiatrists and licensed practical nurses.
Aramark Campus Services LLC lost its contract with Grambling State University, effective June 30. The majority of the 135 jobs eliminated were food service workers in addition to catering staff and cooks. Aramark’s media spokesperson suggested that the company anticipates the majority of the workers may be hired by the company awarded the contract.