Tag: TN

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

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

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 and west TN.

MCAN provides a network connection over a pairrnof optical fibers, to each member location, installation and maintenance ofrnthat connection on each Member institution's behalf, and circuit engineeringrnand maintenance support for each network connection. The University of Memphis,rnthrough a provider agreement with MCAN, provides all network interfacernplanning, engineering, management, and consulting support.

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 partnership between the state of Tennessee and TVA will allow the company to take advantage of industrial electricity rates approximately half those found in Germany. Wacker Chemie AG currently is the world’s second largest producer of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. Wacker has manufactured polysilicon for more than 50 years and has steadily expanded its capacity to meet rising solar-silicon demand in the photovoltaic industry. Two months ago, Gov. Bredesen and Kisber joined with the chief executive officers of Hemlock Semiconductor and its parent company, Dow Corning, to announce Hemlock Semiconductor’s plan to locate a polycrystalline silicon manufacturing operation at the Commerce Park megasite in Clarksville, TN. The facility, which will produce a primary component used in the manufacture of solar panels and other energy equipment, will mean an investment of $1.2 to $2.5 billion dollars by the company and the employment of up to 900 people within five to seven years. If plans are fully implemented, the project would become the largest announced corporate capital investment in Tennessee history. “We live in a time when a growing reliance on sustainable forms of energy is leading to growth rates of 30 percent to 40 percent annually for the solar industry,” said Kisber. “This announcement means Tennessee will play a leading role in the growth of solar technology for many years to come.” When complete, the Clarksville facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 10,000 metric tons of polycrystalline silicon annually but is being designed with the capability to manufacture up to 34,000 metric tons. 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 to provide buffer space. Volkswagon, which closed its last U.S. car plant, in Pennsylvania, in 1988, recently reaffirmed its commitment to build a $1-billion auto assembly plant near Chattanooga. The Tennessee site was selected by the German auto giant in July after intense competition with locations in Alabama and Michigan. The decision by Volkswagon was seen by some analysts as a bit of a silver lining in the generally depressing story of the plummeting U.S. dollar: the corresponding rise of the euro dramatically increasing the cost of manufacturing cars in Europe, leading overseas car makers to take a close look at shifting production to the United States. The increasing cost of European car production was cited as a major factor in VW's decision to locate its new plant in the U.S. The choice of the Tennessee site was heralded by Bredesen, who held aloft front-page headlines declaring “It’s Chattanooga!” When it is fully operational in 2011, the new plant will employ 2,000 people directly as well as offering business to hundreds of suppliers. The new facility will eventually have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles and will be used to build a new midsized vehicle for the U.S. market. VW said its decision also was based on a range of factors including financial incentives offered by the state linked to job creation, investment and training. VW told Tennessee officials last month that despite the dramatic downturn in the global auto industry due to the recession—which has seen demand shrink to less than half of worldwide capacity—the German automaker is moving forward on the new U.S. plant.

Washington, Rhea Counties Win Quality Awards

West Chester Medical Center, which broke ground in West Chester, OH in July 2006, is scheduled to open its doors in May 2009. The facility is the first new full-service hospital in the Greater Cincinnati area in 25 years. Part of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, the 380,000-square-foot facility will be located near the borders of Butler and Warren counties. The hospital will help fulfill a need for close-to-home health care in these rapidly growing communities. By the time the hospital opens, the populations of these counties will already have grown more than 10 percent, compared with the population level at the time of the ground-breaking for the project in 2006. Once fully operational, the 160-bed hospital (which has a 300-bed future expansion plan) will employ nearly 1000 workers. Officials do not expect the economic downturn to negatively impact the hospital’s usage. “People cannot control when they get sick. Illness is always going to be there. So even when there are bad economic times, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to impact the medical field,” says Stephanie Savicki of the Health Alliance. Located off Cox Road on the University Pointe medical campus, West Chester Medical Center is equipped with the latest technology, providing services which will include inpatient and outpatient diagnostics and treatment, imaging and a 24-hour full-service emergency department.

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 school’s new associate’s degree in Chemical Engineering Technology. The curriculum is set to begin in fall 2009 so as to give students enough time to complete the program prior to Clarksville’s start in late 2012. “When the plant opens, it will be in operation from Day 1. Our employees have to be trained and ready to start Day 1,” said Laura Lambeth, sites and expansions human resources manager for Hemlock. “This huge success proves that going through the diligent megasite certification process and being prepared gives a community a strong advantage,” said John Bradley, senior vice president, economic development, Tennessee Valley Authority. “The state of Tennessee, Clarksville-Montgomery County and community leaders have been working towards this day for two and a half years.” “This announcement shows Tennessee’s commitment to becoming a significant player in the development of ‘green collar’ jobs related to clean energy technologies,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “With this announcement, Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning have signaled a major shift in the direction of Tennessee’s and the nation’s economies.” Bredesen noted that it is not simply the immediate creation of new jobs but the ability to attract related industries and suppliers to the state and region. Manufacturing spin-offs appear likely as HSC manufactures one-third of the world’s polysilicon supply for solar cells. And according to researchers, every manufacturing job adds at least 3.5 workers to the service or retail sector. Bredesen hopes this is just the beginning and says, “Announcements like Hemlock’s have gotten the attention of the renewable-energy sector. Let’s take the steps necessary to move from a single announcement to the development of an entire industry in Tennessee.”

U.S. Marble Sites Southeast Distribution in Johnson City

U.S. Marble, headquartered in Remus, MI, has announced plans to locate a new distribution facility serving the southeastern states in Johnson City, TN. The company has purchased a 65,000-square-foot facility (former the location of Snap-on Tools) located at 2416 Watauga Road. According to owner John Bishop, the company plans to initially hire 10 to 15 employees when the business begins its operations in April. U.S. Marble’s product line includes vanity tops, tubs and showers, window sills, and floor tile used in residential construction and renovation. Bishop said that as U.S. Marble sales volumes grow in the southeastern states, the Johnson City location will take on some manufacturing and fabricating business, though that will come through organic company growth and not as a relocation of its Michigan operations. “From looking on a map and evaluating the highway system and Johnson City’s central location to serve eastern and southeastern U.S. markets, we felt that this is the perfect site for our expansion,” Bishop stated.

Crete Carrier Eyes New Maintenance Center

Crete Carrier Corporation, one of the largest privately owned trucking companies in the country, has announced the building of an $8.4-million maintenance center in East Tennessee. If things go well, the project could be done as early as summer 2009. The facility will be located in Roane County on the former Atomic Speedway site off of Interstate 40. According to the nation’s truck drivers in Overdrive magazine’s Highway Report Card, Interstate 40 in Tennessee has been ranked the best road in the U.S. for the third year in a row. Originally set to add 40 to 60 jobs, Crete now looks to hire 388 people within three years after the trucking firm’s center is built. “It’s a much, much larger employment commitment than we had thought at first,” said Leslie Henderson, president and CEO of the Roane Alliance, which leads the county’s economic development efforts. The center will consist of an 8,000-square-foot office and a 10-bay maintenance area. And according to Crete Executive Vice President Karel Znamenacek, Jr., the average wage for workers at the new facility will be $16.67/hour. Long-range plans call for 40 to 50 trucks to leave the facility everyday. Headquartered in Lincoln, NB, Crete Carrier started in 1966. The company has 5,700 trucks, 12,999 trailers and more than 6,000 employees.

Standard Candy Finds Sweet Spot in Nashville

Standard Candy Company, best known for its Goo Goo Clusters, is moving its Eastman, GA manufacturing operations to the company’s headquarters in Nashville, TN.
“The Eastman plant was built in the 1950s and is in need of major upgrades,” said James Spradley, Jr., Standard Candy Co.’s CEO. “We worked with engineers and architects to evaluate the feasibility of continuing to operate two facilities, and ultimately decided it was in the best interest of the company to consolidate our operations to one location.” The company plans to close the Eastman plant by April and move all 250 jobs to Nashville. Full-time employees will have 45 days to decide if they would like a transfer. Those who decline will be replaced in Nashville, nearly doubling the plant’s local employment. The Nashville plant, which employs more than 300 management and production line workers, will expand its facility to accommodate the additional staff by adding 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Matt Kisber said, “I think it’s a great statement Standard Candy Co. is making, bringing those jobs to Nashville, about the vitality of our business climate and the skills of our workforce.” The maker of the famous Goo Goo Candy Cluster began as Anchor Candy Company, founded in 1901 in Nashville by Howell H. Campbell Sr. He was 19 years old when he opened his candy company at Clark Street and First Avenue North. Campbell started with two copper kettles and about a dozen employees. In 1903, he reorganized Anchor and incorporated the business as Standard Candy Company. In 1914, a fire forced the company to move to a three-story brick building on Second Avenue North, where Standard remained for the next 65 years.

2008 Economic Deal of the Year Awards: Silver

Silver Award: Tennessee Snares the Big Prize: Volkswagon's $1-billion Assembly Plant

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. Washington County meets our needs with an experienced workforce and an ideal logistical location, plus the outstanding commitment and cooperation from the state, county, TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority], regional utilities and the surrounding cities." Syuji Nakano, CEO of Nakatetsu Machining Technologies, says, "This joint venture fits with our corporate strategy of growth in the automotive market. After looking at many locations, we are excited about…locating our first manufacturing facility in Washington County. We appreciate the time and effort spent by the state, county, TVA and many local agencies. We are very confident that the workforce surrounding Washington County will help us in establishing a world-class operation and support our target for growth and expansion."

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 accomplished when we work together to attract new industry," Gov. Bredesen says. "The result is that today we're celebrating the first Japanese-owned automotive supplier to make such a significant capital investment in rural West Tennessee. I want to say thank you to NSK for selecting Dyersburg, your confidence in this community's workforce and your strong spirit of partnership in this project." NSK is the first Japanese-owned auto supplier to locate in Dyersburg. West Tennessee as a region is quickly becoming a growing center of automotive manufacturing, bringing more high-skilled, high-wage jobs to the area. Dyersburg is targeting auto suppliers, high-end food processors and metal fabricators in a new three-year economic development strategic plan that was developed in partnership with TVA and Boyette Levy Consulting in Atlanta. "Dyersburg is strategically located on the I-69 corridor and the main line of the Canadian National Railroad, with the only highway bridge crossing the Mississippi River between Memphis and Cairo, IL," says chamber president Allen Hester. "We're right in the middle of the auto plants that have migrated southward during the past 30 years." Dyersburg is a manufacturing hub, including facilities owned by Firestone, Caterpillar, and Sara Lee Foods.

Automotive Opportunities in a Green Economy

The automotive sector continues to be one of the most successful industries in North America. But, global competition, emerging eco-trends, and innovations are changing the playing field.

Stay connected


Featured Location Spotlight

Ohio Electric Cooperatives: Location Spotlight Of The Week

To learn more about Ohio Electric Cooperatives generation, transmission and distribution capabilities, and the cooperative difference, visit this microsite.

Featured Location Videos

BF Location Video: Mars Chocolate Topeka Candy Production Plant Officially Opens

Mars Chocolate North America officially opened the doors of a new, state-of-the-art, roughly 500,000-square-foot candy production facility in Topeka, Kansas.

Latest Blog Posts

Rogers Corporation Relocating Global HQ To Arizona

Rogers Corporation, a global leader in engineered materials solutions, will relocate its global headquarters from Rogers, CT to Chandler, AZ.

MillerCoors Investing $60M In Virginia

The beverage company will expand its Shenandoah brewery in Rockingham County, VA creating 27 new jobs.

Snapshots: 60 Seconds with Michele Brown, Choose New Jersey, Inc.

Michele Brown, President and CEO, Choose New Jersey, Inc. discusses incubators, innovation zones, STEM education, incentives and the Garden State in a post-Panamax world.

Surveys & Research

New Jobs To Drive Migration To Middle America

Strong job growth on the coasts has been drawing people away from Middle America, but experts predict the trend will reverse.

CRE Functions Becoming More Aligned With C-Suite

A recent survey of corporate real estate executives finds an increased focus on the strategic aspects of CRE within companies.

Wisconsin: Where Collaboration Drives Industry Advancement

From water technology and food processing to energy, power and control, companies in Wisconsin that recognize their mutual dependency and have formed partnerships to address common challenges are thriving and creating new economic opportunities.