Two Manufacturers Invest $29M To Expand In Tennessee

Protomet Corporation will create 250 new jobs in Roane County, Corky’s Food Manufacturing will create 28 new jobs in Memphis.

Protomet Corporation will expand its footprint in East Tennessee by establishing engineering and manufacturing operations in Rockwood. The Loudon, TN-based engineering and manufacturing company will create 250 new jobs and invest $25 million in the project.

Protomet plans to acquire and retrofit the former Albahealth building, which closed just over one year ago. The Roane County facility will join and support Protomet’s other manufacturing operations in Loudon and Anderson counties.

“In the last three decades, Tennessee’s pro-business climate has helped fuel our company’s growth,” said Protomet Corporation President Jeff Bohanan. “Today, we are excited to announce the creation of our fourth engineering and manufacturing facility in East Tennessee as we partner with the great people of Rockwood to build a bigger future together.”

Protomet Tennessee, Manufacturers Tennessee
Gov. Lee and the TNECD team join Protomet Corporation officials to announce the company’s expansion to to Roane County. (Photo: TNECD / Facebook)

 

Protomet serves customers in the automotive, boating and homeland security industries. With the additional plant in Rockwood, Protomet will employ more than 500 Tennesseans.

“Tennessee’s strong business climate is strengthened and shaped by companies like Protomet, and I am proud to take part in announcing this expansion,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I thank Protomet for its commitment to the state’s skilled workforce and for creating greater opportunity across East Tennessee.”

Since 2020, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) has supported nearly 50 economic development projects in the East Tennessee region, resulting in approximately 9,000 job commitments and $2.6 billion in capital investment.

“Today’s announcement is exciting for East Tennessee and builds upon the growth this region has experienced this year,” commented TNECD Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter. “Since 2023, the state has landed more than 3,400 jobs in the Greater Knoxville area, and we appreciate Protomet for strengthening that number with 250 new jobs.”

“In the last three decades, Tennessee’s pro-business climate has helped fuel our company’s growth. Today, we are excited to announce the creation of our fourth engineering and manufacturing facility in East Tennessee as we partner with the great people of Rockwood to build a bigger future together.”

— Jeff Bohanan, President, Protomet Corp. 

“This is an incredible win for Roane County and the City of Rockwood,” said Roane County Executive Wade Creswell. “A little over a year ago, our community was shaken with the announcement of the closing of a long-time employer of 170 local citizens. Today, we are so proud to announce the location of Protomet to downtown Rockwood, a successful regional employer bringing 250 higher-paying jobs to Rockwood and investing millions of dollars into an aging facility. This project is an economic development dream, and I could not be happier to welcome Protomet to Roane County.”

“When you are the mayor of a small town, bad news travels fast,” commented Rockwood Mayor Jason Jolly. “When we got the word Albahealth was closing, it was devastating. Families that worked there for generations were suddenly faced without a job. Then when we heard Protomet was considering buying the property, it was the best news we could ever even imagine. We are so excited to have them in our community and look forward to working with them. This will be a giant economic boost for our city, county and this region. Protomet is made up of a good bunch of people, and we welcome them to our city with open arms.”

Corky’s Food Manufacturing Grows In Memphis

Manufacturers Tennessee
Corky’s Food Manufacturing makes and distributes food products for Corky’s BBQ. (Photo: Corky’s BBQ)

Corky’s Food Manufacturing, LLC will invest $4 million to expand its manufacturing operations in Memphis. The barbecue manufacturing company’s expansion project will create 28 new jobs in Shelby County, allowing the company to add a second shift. The project will include a freezer expansion, addition of smokers and new automation and expanded processing and packing rooms.

“We are excited for growth and the incredible opportunities to expand our line of barbecue items across the nation! We’re dedicated to delivering our legendary barbecue and top-notch service not only in our restaurants but also to customers everywhere through grocery chains, food service and direct-to-consumer partners,” said Jimmy Stovall, owner and CEO, Corky’s BBQ.

“The demand for our authentic Corky’s hickory-smoked barbecue has us fired up to increase our manufacturing operations and meet the ever-growing appetite for our assortment of barbecue. With each new step, we are proud of our Memphis roots and strengthening our ties to the community.”

— Jimmy Stovall, Owner / CEO, Corky’s BBQ

“The demand for our authentic Corky’s hickory-smoked barbecue has us fired up to increase our manufacturing operations and meet the ever-growing appetite for our assortment of barbecue,” Stovall continued. “With each new step, we are proud of our Memphis roots and strengthening our ties to the community. Thank you to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for being instrumental in fueling our journey towards continually expanding to supply customers from around the country with our old-fashioned barbecue.”

Corky’s Food Manufacturing, LLC makes and distributes the retail food products of Corky’s BBQ, a leading restaurant in Memphis that has eight locations across Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Since 2020, TNECD has supported nearly 50 economic development projects in Shelby County, resulting in approximately 5,300 job commitments and $1.1 billion in capital investment.

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“Corky’s Food Manufacturing, LLC is a great example of how local businesses are thriving and creating job opportunities in our community,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “Their success story, from being a small barbecue joint to becoming a USDA-certified food manufacturing company, highlights their leadership and the positive business climate here in Shelby County.”

“In Memphis, the story of Corky’s BBQ is synonymous with entrepreneurship and innovation,” commented Memphis Mayor Paul Young. “As Corky’s expands its reach in the food service and retail sectors, it is a testament to our city’s barbecue legacy known across the globe. The company’s commitment to quality and growth exemplifies the enduring legacy of Memphis as a hub for business excellence.”

“While Corky’s is expanding its manufacturing presence and creating jobs, it’s noteworthy that it is achieving this growth organically,” said Dr. Joann Massey, vice president of operations, Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE). “Its story underscores the resilience and ingenuity of our local business community, showcasing that with determination and dedication, Memphis-based companies can flourish and drive economic growth independently.”

Check out all the latest news related to Tennessee economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion, and site selection.

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