|Levi Strauss (before 1902)|
The location for Levi-Strauss’s 32nd plant was right here in Bossier City on a five-acre site on Airline Drive near Douglas Drive and Melrose Ave. Groundbreaking for the 28,000 square-foot facility took place on Mar. 16, 1970. The Bossier City Industrial Development organization built the building and leased it to Levi Strauss & Co. The Cherokee Construction Co. of Shreveport expected to have the construction completed by the beginning of Aug. that year. The initial cost of the plant was approximately $180,000 and it contained $500,000 worth of machinery.
|Job posting in the Shreveport Times, 1970.|
This “pilot plant” was expected to initially employ about 300 people, mostly machine operators with some office personnel and manual labor positions as well. Long-term goals for a permanent facility predicted employment estimates as high as 2,000. Initial plans for the Levi plant was to produce Levi’s pants for women, a marketing campaign known as Levi’s for Gals that launched in 1968.
|Job posting in the Shreveport Times, 1971.|
In the Oct. 5, 1973 issue of the Shreveport Times, the Bossier Industrial Foundation and city officials announced, that Levi Strauss & Co. would cease operations in Bossier City, and Sondra, Inc. of New York City would take over the production facility with its ladies ready-to-wear line. In the same article, the writer states, “Expansion plans call for Sondra to increase the size of the operation on Douglas Drive by 25,000 to 30,000 square feet and hire 150 new employees, which will increase the annual payroll over the Levi total by some $250,000.”
Throughout its history, manufacturing has always contributed to the economic growth of Bossier Parish. With October being Manufacturing month it’s a great time to visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center to learn more about these and other manufacturers that operated here.