Plastics & Chemicals: World-Class Cluster In Northeastern Tennessee

The northeastern end of the volunteer state is home to a dynamic plastics and chemicals materials and manufacturing cluster.

By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2018 Issue

It is not an exaggeration to say that the nation’s most dynamic plastics/chemicals and advanced materials cluster can be found in Northeastern Tennessee; the center of this cluster is located in Sullivan County, TN and its communities of Bluff City, Bristol and Kingsport.

plastics and chemicals
Partnership Park II is a publicly owned 223-acre industrial Business Park located adjacent to Highway 394 in Bristol, TN. Parcels ranging from five to 50 acres are available at Partnership Park. (Image: map,

Sullivan County’s regional cluster includes the world headquarters of industry giant Eastman Chemicals. Eastman made a $1.6 billion investment in 2013 at its Kingsport, TN facility, which now employs more than 7,300.

The attraction of manufacturing in a cluster that can provide the raw materials and chemical feedstocks you need has brought an impressive array of specialty manufacturers to the Sullivan County region. Domtar Corp. makes high-end sheet rolled paper in Sullivan County; BAE has an explosives manufacturing plant in the county. The regional cluster as a whole exports $15 billion of manufactured product per year (the majority of which is in the chemical/plastics industry).

The advanced materials sector of the Sullivan County regional cluster employs 18,832 workers. The Sullivan County region, located in the Tri-Cities TN/VA metro area in Northeast Tennessee, is proud of a skilled, reliable workforce committed to delivering first-rate products and services.

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership is the economic development organization for Sullivan County, Tennessee, and its communities of Bluff City, Bristol and Kingsport. Its name-NETWORKS-represents everything they do and all that the region has to offer.

Northeast Tennessee works for existing and new business and industry. Sullivan Partnership represents a collaborative partnership among Sullivan County and its three primary communities. The NETWORKS team is equipped to assist your company reach its strategic goals. It offers existing and new business/industry programs for all companies, regardless of size or scope of business. The experienced team of business and economic development professionals assist companies with asset maintenance coordination, small business loans, consultant visits, contract negotiations and deal closings. NETWORKS is responsible for maintaining the region’s skilled workforce so they can work for you when your company decides to expand or relocate to Northeastern TN.