TN | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

The Michigan-based automotive supplier will open a new manufacturing plant in Perry County.


The Michigan-based automotive supplier will open a new manufacturing plant in Perry County.

NYX Puts $23-million Plant in Tennessee, Creating 400 Jobs

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Memphis Launches Ultra High-Speed Research Link

Memphis Launches Ultra High-Speed Research Link

The Memphis Coalition for Advanced Networkingrn(MCAN) inaugurated its ultra high speed fiber-optic communications network thisrnweek with an event at the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology. MCAN is an independent, nonprofit corporationrnchartered to promote and operate leading-edge communications technologies thatrnsupport education, research, public service, and economic developmentrninitiatives. MCAN founding members include the University of Memphis,rnUniversity of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, St. Jude Children’s ResearchrnHospital, and the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. Key corporate partners includernXO Communications, Cisco Systems, and Pomeroy IT Solutions. In addition to facilitating scientificrnresearch, MCAN is designed to generate economic benefit from advancedrnnetworking applications. “The launch of this ultra high-speed researchrnlink creates intriguing potential for the Memphis business and entrepreneurialrncommunity,” said Russell Ingram, president and executive director of MCAN.”Connectivity at this speed will allow development of novel technologiesrnand applications that would otherwise not be possible. These new technologiesrnwill inevitably lead to new businesses and new jobs.” MCAN is the result of several years of work byrnthe Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Oak RidgernNational Laboratory, and the Memphis community. In 2008, the State of Tennesseerngranted a contract to Oak Ridge to create a high-speed link between Oak Ridgernand Memphis. In 2009, Oak Ridge requested the participation of the Memphisrncommunity in designing and implementing that link. In response, representativesrnof the four major Memphis research institutions, along with an array of other Memphisrncommunity leaders, formed MCAN to build and administer a 10 gigabit per secondrndata network among the research institutions and between Memphis, Oak Ridge,rnand the national Internet2 research network. In early 2010, the TennesseernDepartment of Economic and Community Development funded the joint MCAN/OakrnRidge project with a grant of $3 million. “The MCAN infrastructure provides vastlyrnimproved data transfer capacity, allowing researchers to collaborate using datarnthat would otherwise present a significant challenge,” says Dr. ClaytonrnNaeve, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital CIO and MCAN board chairman.”For example, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/WashingtonrnUniversity Pediatric Cancer Genome Project will result in the sequencing of 1200rnhuman genomes, each of which requires the production of 90,000,000,000rncharacters of information. If printed out, this amount of data would fill 40rnmillion 4-drawer filing cabinets, enough to fill 26 Memphis Pyramids. MCANrnmakes it possible for researchers to transmit data on this scale.” MCAN is a state of the art, very high speedrnoptical broadband communications network deployed over more than 50 miles ofrnoptical fiber reserved solely for MCAN use through a long term lease with XOrnCommunications. MCAN connects with similar research networks in Tennessee tornform a statewide very high speed research backbone connecting the principalrnresearch institutions in east, middle […]


Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

German Chemical Giant to Build $1-Billion Polysilicon Plant in Tennessee Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical company, has announced plans to build a $1-billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County, Tennessee. The new chemical facility, expected to create more than 500 new jobs in the region, is the third mega-project landed by Tennessee in the past eight months. Earlier this year, Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it would invest $2.5 billion in a new semiconductor plant near Clarksville, TN, and last summer Volkswagon chose a site just north of Chattanooga for its return to car manufacturing in the U.S. The new Wacker plant will manufacture hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used in the manufacture of solar panels and semiconductors. The development announcement was jointly made by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, Dr. Rudolph Staudigl, president and CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, and Dr. Ingomar Kovar, president of Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, MI. “This announcement further enhances Tennessee’s growing reputation as an innovation center in the development and manufacture of clean energy technologies,” said Bredesen. “I appreciate Wacker Chemie’s investment in Tennessee and its recognition of the productivity of Tennessee workers, and I’m very pleased the company believes this is the best place to enhance its position in this growing economic sector.” “We expect polysilicon demand from the solar and semiconductor industries to further increase in the coming years,” said Dr. Staudigl. “Purchasing this site is an essential prerequisite to quickly build up additional production capacities outside the euro zone in line with projected market trends and growth in demand.” The facility will be located in southeastern Tennessee on a 550-acre greenfield site near the Hiwassee Industrial Park in the Charleston community of Bradley County. “Under Governor Bredesen’s leadership, we’ve developed a strategy for the creation of ‘green collar’ jobs in Tennessee,” said Kisber. “That strategy has resulted in more than $2.5 billion dollars in capital investment and over a thousand new jobs being announced in the past year and we truly believe Tennessee is well-positioned for the growth of a sustainable economy in the U.S.” In addition to the state’s strong business climate, Wacker officials cited Tennessee’s well-developed infrastructure and the cooperative partnership of state agencies, local government, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the local chamber of commerce. As part of its investment, Wacker will qualify for statutory incentives on the state and local level, including the FastTrack Infrastructure Development Program, the FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program and the Super Jobs Tax Credit. The strong […]


Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

Hemlock Semiconductor to Build $2.5 Billion Plant in Clarksville The Hemlock Semiconductor Group will invest up to $2.5 billion to locate a polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) manufacturing operation in Clarksville, TN at the Commerce Park megasite in the northeastern edge of the city. If plans are fully implemented, it will be the largest corporate capital investment in Tennessee history. After a two-year global search of more than two dozen sites, The Hemlock Semiconductor Group, which includes two Dow Corning Corporation joint ventures, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, finally decided on a location. “Tennessee’s business climate coupled with a superb site in Clarksville, a strong, productive workforce and an excellent location in proximity to our supply chain and customers made this the right decision,” said Hemlock Semiconductor President and CEO Rick Doornbos. “This investment will allow us to meet growing customer demand in both the near term and in the decades ahead.” The Clarksville facility will produce polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used to manufacture solar cells and semiconductor devices. While most of the polysilicon will be consumed by firms in the solar industry, the site also will have the capability to make ultra-pure silicon for the electronics industry as well as solar-grade material. Upon completion, the new facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually with the potential to expand to a production level of 21,000 metric tons. Groundbreaking on the new plant is expected in March 2009 and will create up to 1,000 jobs in construction and related crafts during the building phase. Projected to open in 2012, the Clarksville facility itself will create 500 jobs with the potential of employing up to 900 people within five to seven years. The plant will occupy the entire 1,215-acre Commerce Park megasite and the company plans to acquire an additional 947 acres adjacent to the site for additional build-out and buffer space. “The exact scale of this investment will be determined by market conditions. Making this investment in today’s volatile economic climate is a testament to both the long term outlook of the solar industry as well as Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to add capacity to meet the needs of customers,” said Doornbos. In conjunction with this new industrial development, Austin Peay State University has received a $6.4-million grant to develop and train a workforce for the incoming Hemlock Semiconductor Plant. This includes a new campus building, six new chemical technology professors and about eleven new professors for other core credit requirements toward the […]



Metro Spotlight: Johnson City, Tennessee

Metro Spotlight: Johnson City, Tennessee

Johnson City: A Perfect 10 in Tennessee Once a 19th century railroad depot, Johnson City, TN has grown into a successful city with deep musical and historical roots. Positioned in the far eastern stretches of Tennessee, Johnson City spans Washington, Carter and Sullivan Counties. The MSA’s estimated population was 181,607 in 2006, with approximately 60,000 people residing in the city limits. Intelligent residents and a burgeoning business climate combine to make Johnson City one of Tennessee’s most notable metro areas. The knowledge community present at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), home to 13,000 students, solidifies Johnson City’s educational foundation. The public university includes the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, which was ranked fourth in the United States for excellence in rural medical education in 2009’s U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” ETSU also was ranked in the top 25% of medical schools for primary care education. The university has a College of Pharmacy, as well. In the business realm, Johnson City recently was ranked tenth by Forbes magazine’s “Best Smaller Metro Area for Business and Careers.” In 2007, Washington County’s workforce totaled 60,600 strong, with a countywide unemployment rate of 4.1%, down from 4.9% in 2005 and 5% in 2003, according to the Tennessee Department of Employment Security. Washington Welcomes Two Japanese Auto Suppliers On October 27, 2008, two Japanese companies held an official opening and building dedication ceremony at the Washington County Industrial Park, located on Highway 11E near Johnson City, TN. Koyo Corporation of USA and Nakatetsu Machining Technologies broke ground in November of 2006 and their new manufacturing facilities became fully operational in May of this year. Both companies are involved in the manufacturing of bearings for the automotive industry and have brought approximately 100 to 150 new jobs, consisting primarily of machining, grinding, assembly, skilled trades and professional positions, to Johnson City and the surrounding area. “This is a positive development for Tennessee and Washington County,” says Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “Attracting good-paying manufacturing jobs is an important part of our job creation strategy. Having our efforts embraced by automotive industry leaders like Koyo and Nakatetsu is a strong endorsement of Tennessee’s business climate.” Koyo Corporation of USA’s General Manager Steve McCullough believes the new facilities will be an important step for both companies’ growing businesses. “Our preliminary selection of Washington County reflects our commitment to American manufacturing and the American worker,” says McCullough. “Increased consumer demand for our products requires increased manufacturing capabilities to complement our other U.S. plants and relationships. […]


Tennessee Corporate Moves

Tennessee Corporate Moves

  Chattanooga Gets a $1-Billion Windfall from Volkswagon Tennessee scored its largest economic development coup in more than a decade when Volkswagon Group of America announced in July that it will build its new U.S. automotive production facility in Chattanooga. The Chattanooga plant marks a return to U.S. production for VW, which closed its last North American plant in Pennsylvania in 1988. The German auto giant’s decision to locate car production in Tennessee is expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs and pump nearly $1 billion into the local economy. The company will build the facility in the Enterprise South Industrial Park, located 12 miles northeast of downtown Chattanooga. The 1,350-acre site is owned 100% by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Adjacent to Interstate 75, It is certified as an industrial megasite by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The new VW plant is expected to have an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, including a new midsize sedan that Volkswagon is designing for the North American market. Production at the plant will commence in 2011. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen declared that Volkswagon picked the Tennessee site over competing locations in Michigan and Alabama because of “shared values, [Tennessee’s] commitment to innovation, and [its] strong respect for the environment.” “This project will have a significant impact on the economy of Tennessee and the region for decades to come,” Bredesen said at the plant siting announcement. “Volkswagon and Chattanooga have a lot in common,” added Chattanooga City Mayor Ron Littlefield. “Both are serious about environmental sustainability and 21st century manufacturing.” Industry analysts noted that the falling value of the U.S. dollar may have been a key factor in VW’s decision to resume car production in the U.S. The decline of the U.S. currency has increased the cost of overseas production, and conversely made U.S.-based auto manufacturing more cost effective. The Tennessee Department of Economic Development put together a comprehensive package of incentives to seal the deal with Volkswagon, including statutory incentives tied to job creation and capital investment. Additional support in the deal included assistance for building up public infrastructure and job training. Japanese Auto Supplier NSK Chooses Dyersburg Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber joined officials from NSK Steering Systems America, Inc. in May to celebrate the grand opening of their new facility in Dyersburg. The 100,000-square-foot plant will house 140 employees and represents a capital investment of more than $6 million.”The decision by NSK to come to Dyersburg illustrates just what can be […]