RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News & La. Governor's Office) - A company that designs and manufactures kid sized dirt bikes and go-karts is moving its corporate headquarters to Ruston. Monster Moto's move to the area will create hundreds of new jobs, plus a partnership with Louisiana Tech.
As the multi-million dollar company makes the move to Ruston, Monster Moto will create nearly 300 new jobs and economic growth for the area. But for students at Louisiana Tech like freshman Erin Wilson it could mean internship opportunities or even a job after graduation.
"If you've got a corporate headquarters here, you have opportunities in business, marketing, communications, a ton of different things," said Wilson.
The unofficial motto at Monster Moto is that they create fun. And they say Ruston is the best place for them to do that.
"What we've seen here is that Lincoln Parish and Ruston have wrapped their arms around us and said welcome, now let's get to work," said Alexander Keechle, CEO of Monster Moto.
And the company plans to start with Tech.
"The students are first rate engineering students," said Keechle.
The college could provide anything from testing steel for the company to web design and even future planning and development of the products.
"We really feel like we have an outsource engineering department at Louisiana Tech," said Keechle.
Governor Bobby Jindal was on hand for the announcement. He says this is just another step toward job creation in Louisiana. And having the company based in Ruston will only mean good things for the city and parish too.
"The more businesses we have here, the more people we have to support the university," said Mayor Ronny Walker.
"That breathes life into a town, and that can only be good for the people who live here," said Wilson.
The company hopes to start construction on the headquarters in June and begin operations by the end of the year. The headquarters will be built at the former Ruston Municipal Airport with the potential for future expansion.
Monster Moto announced Wednesday the company will establish a headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ruston for the assembly of minibikes, go-carts and other youth-oriented vehicles.
The project will include a minimum $4 million capital investment as part of a public-private development to build a 100,000-square-foot facility housing Monster Moto’s operations at the former site of Ruston’s municipal airport.
In moving its headquarters from the Dallas area and its manufacturing operations from overseas, Monster Moto will create 287 new direct jobs over the next decade, with an average salary of $46,800, plus benefits.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 292 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 570 new jobs in North Louisiana.
Founded in 2013, Monster Moto designs, manufactures and distributes gas- and electric-powered minibikes and go-carts.
In addition to distributing products through the company’s website, Monster Moto has successfully sold youth vehicles through major retailers, including Amazon, Kmart, The Home Depot and others.
The City of Ruston will provide 17 acres to the project through the Lincoln Economic Development Council. Monster Moto will enter a long-term lease on the building to be constructed by a limited liability company, consisting of local builders, at the site of the former Ruston Municipal Airport that ceased operations in 1990 and was replaced by Ruston Regional Airport.
The 90-acre former airport site will be known as Russtown Industrial Park and will feature Monster Moto as its first tenant. In addition to the industrial site, Monster Moto selected Ruston for its proximity to Louisiana Tech University.