LUFKIN – The Lufkin Economic Development Corporation Board unanimously approved a tax abatement for Francis Innovation Operations – a nitrile glove manufacturer promising to bring a $30 million facility and 100 jobs to the city.  

Lufkin Economic Development Director Bob Samford has been working closely with Francis Innovation Operations (FIO) officials for the past year in hopes of bringing the initiative to Lufkin. The company will build and operate a new, state-of-the-art U.S. domestic facility for the manufacture of nitrile gloves. 

“Lufkin is honored to have been selected by the company as the location of this patent-pending technology,” Samford said. “FIO has over 40 years of successful business experience and family leadership. Nitrile gloves are considered foundational devices in the medical community and are one of the most widely used PPEs when it comes to any type of disease – let alone a pandemic.” 

The proposal will go before Lufkin city council this evening for final approval in a 5 p.m. meeting. 

The incentives approved by the EDC board included: a tax abatement of 100 percent for 10 years, $4,000 FTE up to 100, and 10 acres of land in the Industrial Park. FIO must invest a minimum of $30 million and hire at least 100 full-time employees in exchange for the economic incentives. They must begin construction by the end of 2023 and have substantial construction by the end of 2024. FIO officials said that they intend to begin building in early 2023.  

FIO is a woman-owned small business that is a part of the Francis family group, whose companies have engineered and manufactured 100 percent USA-made products for over 40 years, according to FIO Executive Vice President Jordan Schupbach.  

“We chose Lufkin because of the central location, competitive economic incentives, and unique opportunity to be located in a Foreign Trade Zone,” Schupbach said. “Bob Samford and his team did an outstanding job of representing the city and we are excited about being in Lufkin.” 

FIO has offices in Texas and Louisiana.