By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2019 Issue
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) has selected four counties to participate in the latest round of the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP): Morgan, Robertson, Rutherford and White.
“I’m pleased to announce Morgan, Robertson, Rutherford and White counties will take part in PEP, which has helped numerous communities identify opportunities for site development. This program puts our state in a position to attract quality jobs and improve our overall economic growth potential,” said Gov. Bill Lee.
This round brings the total number of counties that have participated in PEP to 50. Since its inception in 2015, PEP has helped improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings across the state. The program evaluates potential industrial properties, advising counties on industrial site improvements and where investments may be most beneficial.
PEP originated from TNECD’s Select Tennessee Certified Site Program. With assistance of site selection firm Austin Consulting, PEP provides participating counties with guidance on site planning for future industrial development projects.
PEP includes an on-site visit by Austin Consulting and TNECD, an educational webinar on the site selection process and a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and needs of each community’s inventory of industrial sites. This assessment also offers recommendations to improve marketability.
The four counties were selected based on the demonstrated local need for industrial properties and the county’s ability to assemble properties with viable market potential. The application process begins with a submission of a letter of intent, which is accepted at any time. Upon receipt of the letter, interested communities will receive the PEP application. A new round of communities will be accepted into the program in the spring of 2020.
“In order for Tennessee communities to recruit industry or support existing business growth, it is crucial that they have shovel-ready sites. TNECD is focused on strengthening Tennessee’s inventory of industrial sites, and PEP is perfectly suited to strengthen what our local communities have to offer,” said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.
ERMCO EXPANDS IN DYERSBURG
ERMCO Inc. officials have announced that the company will expand its manufacturing operations in Dyersburg. The transformer manufacturer will invest approximately $12 million and create 150 new jobs in Dyer County.
ERMCO is headquartered in Dyersburg and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). With all of its products produced in the U.S., ERMCO is one of the largest producers of oil-filled distribution transformers and transformer components in the U.S. The company has been operational in Dyersburg since 1971.
ERMCO is adding to its Dyer County footprint by expanding its operations into a third building to keep up the company’s growing demand. The company will locate its facility in the previous Caterpillar building in Dyersburg and will add an additional 8,000 square feet to the facility.
Since 2013, TNECD has supported 23 projects in Dyer County, resulting in the creation of more than 1,700 new jobs and approximately $158 million in capital investment.
“Tennessee’s strong advanced manufacturing industry, which employs 170,000 Tennesseans, makes it the perfect location for a company like ERMCO to expand operations. I’m pleased that ERMCO sees the advantages of doing business in Dyer County, and I thank them for creating 150 new jobs in Dyersburg,” Gov. Bill Lee said.
In Henning, TN, VF Corporation recently announced today that the company will expand its footprint in West Tennessee. VF plans to expand its current Workwear operations in Henning and locate a new manufacturing facility in Covington, investing nearly $7.5 million and creating over 220 new jobs in West Tennessee.
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®.
The company’s purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. VF’s Workwear division has a major presence in Nashville, TN and employs more than 6,600 people worldwide providing brands such as Red Kap®, Bulwark®, VF Solutions™, Horace Small™ and Dickies® to workers in diverse occupations.
To keep up with the company’s unprecedented growth, VF will be expanding its manufacturing facility in Henning, where it will create 162 new jobs, and locating a new distribution facility in Covington, where it will create 66 new jobs. The company plans on locating its new distribution operations in an existing building in Tipton County.
“I want to thank VF for choosing to locate new operations and expand in West Tennessee. Tennessee’s manufacturing and logistics sectors continue to see major growth in our state,” said TECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.
Also expanding is HCTec, which is growing its operations in Hohenwald, TN. The healthcare IT workforce service provider will invest more than $500,000 and create over 100 jobs in Lewis County.
With its headquarters in Brentwood, TN, HCTec helps hospitals nationwide reduce operating costs, improve quality and optimize labor forces with highly specialized healthcare IT skills staffing, project-based consulting and application-managed services support.
Opened in 2017, HCTec’s Hohenwald service center provides 24/7 Service Desk offerings, including navigation, support and troubleshooting of electronic health record (EHR) applications such as Epic, Cerner, Meditech and Allscripts to hospital staff, patients, physicians and clinicians.
With this expansion, HCTec will hire additional team members and complete physical plant improvements to its current facility in Hohenwald to keep pace with growing demand. As the company continues to grow, HCTec plans on providing more specialized technical support from the service center in Lewis County.
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