Ronpak Inc., a maker of paper bags, announced it will locate a manufacturing facility in Shreveport.

The new $16.8 million plant is expected to create 175 new jobs, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development reported Thursday. The 155,000-square-foot facility will be at the Port of Shreveport.

“The reason we decided to come to Louisiana is because of the quality of the people and the quality of the training programs,” Ronpak owner Ron Sedley said in a statement. “We met with many private business owners throughout Shreveport-Bossier and we learned first-hand of the outstanding workforce that is available - people who take pride in their work.”

Having access to the job-training program Louisiana FastStart also played a role in luring Ronpak to Louisiana, Sedley said. “It was key to have a great workforce that would be well-trained from the start.”

Ronpak makes a number of paper packaging products like those used by fast-food restaurants or grocery stores. The company is headquartered in South Plainfield, N.J., and has another location in California.

The state offered Ronpak a $3.55 million performance-based grant for equipment purchases related to its Shreveport investment, as the company meets necessary hiring and payroll targets. In addition to the Louisiana FastStart program, the company is also expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs program, which allows for salary rebates or investment tax credits if Ronpak meets specific job creation goals. Ronpak also may apply for the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides a 100 percent property tax abatement for up to 10 years for new capital investments made on the property.

Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011 and be complete by the end of 2012. The company will begin hiring the new employees in September.