3D Systems Expansion in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to Create 50 New Jobs

3D Systems is planning an expansion of its Lawrenceburg, TN facility to increase operational capacity as well as grow the company’s footprint in the region.

3D Systems

3D Systems (photo – 3dsystems.com)

The company provides comprehensive 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and digital design tools. The Lawrenceburg facility is part of the company’s on demand parts manufacturing service, Quickparts, providing advanced prototyping and manufacturing solutions through cloud-based fulfillment.

Supported by the city of Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and TVA, the company is investing $2.9 million and expects to create more than 50 new jobs in Lawrence County over the next five years.

Ziad Abou, senior vice president, on demand parts, 3D Systems, said in a statement that “We look forward to expanding the reach of our expertise in Lawrenceburg, and to growing the advanced manufacturing and prototyping potential within Tennessee and beyond.”

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd responded in kind, noting that “We thank 3D Systems for expanding in Lawrenceburg and adding to our growing manufacturing workforce that employs more than 333,000 members of Team Tennessee.”

Lawrence County Mayor T.R. Williams highlighted the collaboration that helped secure this prestigious Lawrenceburg economic development project. “We are also fortunate to have had continued good teamwork with TNECD, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the South Central Tennessee Development District who all worked seamlessly together to lead this project to fruition,” said Mayor Williams.

TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley likewise said that “We are proud to partner with the city of Lawrenceburg, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to celebrate this innovative company’s success and to help further TVA’s mission of service to support existing business and industry growth in the Valley.”

Rock Hill, SC-based 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) co-founder Chuck Hull was the one who invented Stereolithography, the first 3D printing process, back in 1983. This technology uses a photopolymer resin and UV lasers to build objects layer-by-layer, and was quickly adopted by the automotive industry and other manufacturers as a means to accelerate the prototyping process.

3D Systems has since spent its 30-year history enabling professionals and companies to optimize their designs, transform their workflows, bring innovative products to market and drive new business models.

Memphis Secures Evergreen Packaging Global Headquarters

Global packaging solutions company Evergreen Packaging Inc. is consolidating its operations with sister companies Closure Systems International and Graham Packaging Company into a single global headquarters in Memphis, TN.

Evergreen Packaging

Evergreen Packaging (photo – evergreenpackaging.com)

Supported by Shelby County and Memphis economic development tax incentives being provided through a PILOT agreement, the company expects to create 70 new jobs in Shelby County and retain the existing 103 jobs it has in Memphis.

Memphis-based Evergreen is the leading manufacturer of fresh carton packaging for beverage products, primarily serving the juice and milk markets and also provides a variety of paper-based products for commercial printing. Indianapolis, IN-based Closure Systems International is the leading manufacturer of packaging closures and fitments.  York, PA-based Graham Packaging is a global leader in plastic bottles and packaging solutions.

Together, the three companies comprise 127 global manufacturing facilities in 36 countries with revenue in excess of $5.5 billion and over 14,000 employees worldwide.

The average base salary for the 70 quality net new jobs coming to Memphis and Shelby County is $176,283, excluding benefits and overtime.

Governor Bill Haslam said in a statement that “It is not taken lightly when a company chooses to locate its global headquarters in our state and we thank Evergreen for bringing us one step closer towards making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

President and CEO of Evergreen Packaging John Rooney responded in kind, noting that “Evergreen Packaging is appreciative of the support we have received from the state of Tennessee, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr. and all of the state stakeholders.”

Rooney added that their leadership team has been impressed by the concerted effort to recruit and support the company throughout the entire process. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said that “I was glad to meet with Evergreen’s corporate representatives during their decision-making, and we look forward to their growth in Memphis.”

Memphis EDGE, the Economic Development growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County, is providing incentives for the project through a 15‐year Jobs PILOT (payment in lieu of jobs) agreement valued at approximately $1,167,403. The total projected tax revenue generated by the project during the PILOT period is $7,139,205.

Phil Trenary, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, noted that there is great momentum in corporate headquarters choosing Memphis. “This year alone, we have seen LEDIC Realty and Orgill choose the Memphis region, all bringing jobs and investment to our regional economy,” said Trenary.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd likewise pointed out that “This is our third headquarters announcement statewide in three weeks and I am excited that Evergreen Packaging has decided to call Tennessee home.”

General Motors Announces $788.7M Investment in Spring Hill, Tennessee

General Motors announced that it will invest $788.7 million for an all-new, high-efficiency engine program, as well as projects to modernize the vehicle programs, at its Spring Hill Manufacturing Plant in Spring Hill, TN.


GM (photo – jm3/flickr)

GM expects the investment to enable the creation of 792 jobs and retention of 16 jobs. Since 2010, GM has announced investments of more than $2 billion for the Spring Hill operations.

Spring Hill Manufacturing opened in 1990 and produced Saturn vehicles until March 2007. It is now a flexible vehicle assembly plant that is currently producing the Cadillac XT5 and the GMC Acadia, as well as 4-cylinder engines and stampings used in several GM vehicles.

Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that “It is important to see long-time partners like GM continue to invest in Tennessee and create high-quality jobs here.”

Arvin Jones, GM North America manufacturing manager, added that “Today’s announcement reinforces our absolute faith in this facility, and our strong commitment to this community and the state of Tennessee.”

Numerous local, state and federal officials attended the announcement to show their support for GM’s investment and the Spring Hill economic development that will result from this latest expansion by GM.

City of Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham noted that “GM has always played a critical role in the growth of our community and today’s announcement is further proof that Spring Hill is truly rising.”

Maury County Mayor Charlie Norman likewise added that “It is always important when an existing industry expands. But, it is extra exciting when a world-class company like GM makes such a significant reinvestment in your community. It is a testament to the great workforce and business climate found in Maury County.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority worked with government and company representatives in helping secure this investment announcement. TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in the release that “We are proud to be a partner in this announcement, which will lead to more jobs and investment in the region’s economy.”

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd congratulated GM on another important investment in Spring Hill and its workforce, and added that “It is important to see long-time partners like GM continue to invest in Tennessee and create high-quality jobs here.”

Meanwhile, GM also announced another $118 million investment at its Bay City Powertrain facility in Michigan. That project is expected to create 29 new jobs and retain 67 jobs.

Cindy Estrada, vice president and director of the UAW General Motors Department, said in a statement that since last year’s collective bargaining agreement, GM has invested more than $1.7 billion and UAW-GM members, their families and their communities will all benefit for years to come.

Tennessee Awards First Round of Main Street Entrepreneur Grants

Tennessee has named six communities as awardees in the first round of Tennessee Main Street Entrepreneur Grants being awarded to encourage business growth in established downtown commercial districts.

TN Main Street

TN Main Street (photo – tnecd.com)

Specifically, the grants of $50,000 each will be used to provide startup space and training for entrepreneurs in the downtown commercial districts of Bristol, Cleveland, Columbia, Jackson, Morristown and Savannah.

For instance, Believe in Bristol will use the grant to provide a nine-week CO.STARTERS course for entrepreneurs investing in downtown Bristol, host a business pitch day including local independent community investors and developers and make improvements to their existing co-working office, IdeaSpace.

MainStreet Cleveland will likewise use the grant to restore a 1902 building recently purchased by the city of Cleveland, TN where it plans to establish a mixed-use, multi-tenant business incubator for startup entrepreneurs.

Columbia Main Street will similarly use the grant funding to equip an Entrepreneur Co-Work Center in the downtown district to provide shared work space, equipment and Internet, a training room and training opportunities.

Another $50,000 grant will support an innovative Jackson economic development project being undertaken by the city’s Downtown Development Corporation to create three new retail storefronts for entrepreneurs on vacant lots utilizing repurposed shipping containers. Partners helping the Jackson DDC in this project include theCO, the city of Jackson and University of Memphis Lambuth.

Similarly, Morristown’s Crossroads Downtown Partnership will create three co-working spaces in the downtown commercial district in partnership with the City, the Morristown Chamber, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and educational institutions in the region.

Lastly, Savannah Main Street will use its $50,000 state grant to reactivate a stretch of vacant storefronts with a micro-business coffee shop and provide space, equipment and Internet access for co-working space. They will also offer a coding class and entrepreneur training for local high school students.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said in a statement that “We are excited to be able to assist communities that are actively working to attract investment, and I can’t wait to see the results of these projects.”

Amy New, TNECD’s assistant commissioner for rural development, added that “Flourishing downtowns provide a sense of pride for our communities, spur tourism and promote entrepreneurship, which ultimately creates jobs. We are excited to see these projects roll out.”

The Tennessee Main Street Entrepreneur Grant program is open to accredited Tennessee Main Street communities, and this first round of six grants were awarded through a competitive scoring process.

Hankook Tire to Locate North American Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee

Following its decision to locate an $800 million tire manufacturing facility in Clarksville, TN, Hankook Tire is now adding to its Tennessee presence by announcing that it will locate its North American headquarters in Nashville.


Hankook (photo – Dave Hamster/flickr)

Announcing the project, Governor Bill Haslam said in a statement that “By choosing Nashville for the location of its North American headquarters, Hankook Tire continues to help make our state known as a worldwide leader in the automotive sector.”

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd noted that “Hankook Tire could choose anywhere to locate its North American headquarters, and it says volumes about Davidson County and Tennessee that they chose us.”

Hankook Tire America Corp. is headquartered in Wayne, NJ. It is a part of Seoul, South Korea-based Hankook Tire, one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world with over 20,000 global employees. The company has over 30 offices, five R&D centers and eight large-scale tire production facilities, including the one in Tennessee, which is its first and only production plant in the United States.

The company chose Clarksville and Montgomery County for its $800 million manufacturing plant in 2013, and broke ground in 2014 for constructing the 1.5 million-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in the Corporate Business Park.

The tire manufacturing plant is creating 1,800 new jobs for Clarksville and Montgomery County. So the headquarters project in Nashville is Hankook’s second major facility to be located in Tennessee. The Nashville economic development benefits from this latest project include an investment of $5 million and the creation of 200 more jobs for the state – this time in Davidson County.

Hankook Tire Vice Chairman and CEO Mr. Seung Hwa Suh said in the release that “We believe by relocating our headquarters to Nashville, Hankook Tire can benefit from the people, resources and infrastructures of Tennessee, and we hope it will provide job opportunities and contribute to the Tennessee economy.”

The company is in the process of looking for space for its headquarters in downtown Nashville. Mayor Megan Barry said they are thrilled that Hankook Tire has chosen to locate its U.S. headquarters in Nashville and bring up to 200 jobs to the city. “Hankook Tire joins a growing number of international firms who have chosen to invest in Nashville and become cherished members of our community,” added Mayor Barry.

TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley likewise noted that “TVA and Nashville Electric Service congratulate Hankook Tire on the decision to locate its new corporate headquarters and bring quality jobs to Nashville.”

Sitel to Create 300 Jobs in Corning, NY and 500 Jobs in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, TN

Global customer care provider Sitel has announced plans to expand its customer experience centers in Corning/Painted Post, NY and in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, TN.


Sitel (photo – sitel.com)

At Sitel Corning, the company plans to hire 300 new customer care professionals to provide inbound support for a leading satellite television provider.

Sitel Corning’s Director of Site Operations, Demi Roseman, highlighted the Corning economic development impact of their latest job creation plans. “We look forward to further contributing to the local economy with these 300 new positions, and continuing our role as an employer-of-choice with high-growth opportunities for Corning residents,” said Roseman.

Back in 2008, chief New York economic development agency Empire State Development had announced two grants of $1.5 million and $750,000 to support Sitel’s plans to establish a new customer experience center at the former Corning Inc. photonics facility in Erwin and create up to 600 new jobs.

However, last year, the company filed notices with the NYS Dept. of Labor stating its intentions for two rounds of layoffs totaling nearly 400 jobs, out of the 500 that it had created in the Corning location. At that time, the company cited the loss of a major client as the reason for the layoffs.

In its latest statement announcing new plans to expand once again and add 300 new jobs at this location, Sitel says the new customer care professionals to be hired will provide inbound support for another client who is a leading satellite television provider.

Meanwhile, the Nashville-based Sitel continues to expand its operations in Tennessee. This time, the company has announced plans to create 500 jobs as part of the expansions of its customer experience centers in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, TN. These new customer care positions will provide support for a Sitel client in the financial services industry and an insurance provider supporting veteran healthcare.

Sitel’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Rick Valverde, noted in a release that “Sitel has earned the reputation as an employer-of-choice with high-growth opportunities for local residents.”

Sitel now serves more than 62 markets in 40 languages, with 61,100 associates from 108 contact centers located in 21 countries. Systems International Telemarketing (SITEL) was originally founded in 1985, and was previously headquartered in Omaha, NE. After being acquired by ClientLogic in 2007, SITEL relocated its headquarters to ClientLogic’s headquarters in Nashville, TN. The merged entity changed its name to Sitel, which is now a subsidiary of French company Groupe Acticall.

The Jack Daniel Distillery, 150 Years On, Still Creating Jobs For Lynchburg, Tennessee

Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BFB, BFA) has announced plans for yet another expansion of The Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.

The Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN

The Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN (photo – Brian Stansberry/wikimedia)

The company will invest $140 million to construct two new barrelhouses as well as modify and expand the existing bottling facility to provide additional bottling and shipping capacity to meet future demand.

As a result of this new investment and expansion, The Jack Daniel Distillery expects to create 30 new jobs for Lynchburg and Moore County.

Governor Bill Haslam said in a release that “Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee tradition that was born in one of Tennessee’s smallest counties and has grown into a globally recognized brand. That says a lot about the quality and commitment of Moore County’s workforce.”

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd noted that “This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery and as one of the state’s most respected brands, we thank the company for its long history in our state and its continued contribution to Team Tennessee.”

Larry Combs, SVP General Manager Jack Daniel’s Supply Chain, likewise responded that the bourbon and American whiskey category is booming, and they appreciate the support of the state and Tennessee economic development officials as the company works to meet global demand for Jack Daniel’s.

State incentives for the project have not been finalized, but a grant proposal supporting the company’s investment is in the works.

“We are especially proud that this second expansion announcement comes as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, America’s Oldest Registered Distillery,” added Combs.

Brown-Forman’s latest $140 million investment and 30 new jobs follows a separate expansion of The Jack Daniel Distillery less than three years ago which included the addition of stills, barrel warehouses and related infrastructure. That project represented an investment of $103 million and the creation of 94 jobs.

Apart from the new barrelhouses and expanded bottling facility, the current expansion will also involve renovations to the distillery’s visitor center to support increased tourism and enhance the visitor experience. The Jack Daniel Distillery is not only a significant employer in Moore County, but also a historic tourist attraction that drew more than 275,000 visitors from around the world last year.

Metropolitan Lynchburg-Moore County Mayor Sloan Stewart said that Lynchburg is proud to be home to America’s oldest registered distillery and a world class tourist destination. “Jack Daniel’s is an outstanding corporate citizen, and we appreciate all that they have done to give back to the community,” added Mayor Stewart.

The Jack Daniel Distillery, officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Brown-Forman’s brands are now sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide, and supported by nearly 4,400 employees.

TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley added that “We are pleased to partner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, city of Lynchburg and Moore County to celebrate Jack Daniel’s ongoing business success and longstanding commitment to grow in the Valley.”

Tennessee Approves $4.3M Grant to Bring CMT’s Million Dollar Quartet to Memphis

The new CMT series “Million Dollar Quartet” is coming to Memphis, to bring alive a seminal moment in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the lives of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet (photo – ell brown/flickr)

Supported by a $4.3 million Tennessee economic development grant, Million Dollar Quartet will kick off production in Memphis this spring.

The series, an adaptation of the Broadway Musical about Sun Records, will tell the true story of record producer Sam Phillips and his ground breaking studio, Sun Records. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins collaborated in a 1956 recording session at Sun Records later called the Million Dollar Quartet. Those sessions are widely regarded as a seminal moment in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today that the department has approved a reimbursable grant of up to $4.3 million that will support a projected 160 film crew positions.

Commissioner Boyd said in a release that “Memphis is the birth place of rock ‘n’ roll music, and we are ecstatic to be able to support a television series that tells the story of the city’s role in one of the most influential cultural phenomenon of the last century. This is truly a Tennessee story.”

CMT President Brian Philips likewise noted that telling this story in Memphis was important to making such an important historical period come alive for the screen. “The characters are all larger-than-life, so casting is a daunting challenge, but we’re counting on the magic of Memphis to come alive again!” added Philips.

State Sen. Mark Norris, who helped to recruit the project to the state, said the production is an important win for the Memphis film community. “This series brings history to life and breathes new life into the Memphis film and television market. I appreciate the hard work of TNECD, the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, the Memphis Film Commission, Thinkfactory Media and CMT in making it possible,” added Sen. Norris.

Tennessee Entertainment Commission Executive Director Bob Raines highlighted the state and Memphis economic development benefits of the project. “In addition to producing new jobs for our local crew base and providing revenue for the state’s production vendors, the series will introduce iconic Memphis legends and music to a new generation of fans,” said Raines.

Later this month, show producer Thinkfactory Media will hold a casting call seeking actors for the series at Presley’s alma mater, the historic Humes Preparatory Academy in Memphis.

2015 – Best Year of Economic Development in Tennessee History

Tennessee’s all-time job commitment record of 24,221 new jobs in 2014 was always going to be a hard act to follow. But TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd reports in a blog post that 2015 was literally the best year of economic development in the state of Tennessee’s history.

TN Flag

Photo – DoddsPhotography/flickr

Tennessee economic development performance report for 2015:

– 161 company commitments which represented $5.5 billion in capital investments and 25,837 new job commitments;

– TNECD’s 2015 projects have a forecasted direct economic output of $4.71 billion over the next ten years and a total economic output of $9.86 billion;

–  ROI on state investments in recruiting these businesses is projected to be 40.3 percent annually, providing a pay back in 2.4 years;

– Foreign direct investments totaled $2.25 billion in capital and created 7,815 new job commitments. Investments by Japan-based companies alone totaled $1.02 billion, followed by Canada-based companies with investments of $478.8 million, and China-based companies announcing $298 million in Tennessee investment projects.

Commissioner Boyd noted in the blog post that beyond all the records and rates of return, “it is about families throughout the state. As a result of the success we had in 2015, over 25,000 Tennessee families will have great jobs and better lives.”

Another new development in 2015 was the creation of the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT), which reorganizes the state’s research department. CERT will be publishing regular white papers throughout the year and will be an indispensable resource to the entire state.

Other Tennessee economic development programs that were initiated include the Rural Task Force created by Gov. Bill Haslam to find holistic solutions by bringing together key partners from agencies like the Tennessee Valley Authority, USDA and several Tennessee state agencies.

Changes within TNECD in 2015 included the appointment of Amy New as the first-ever Assistant Commissioner for Rural Development. This led to rural economic development initiatives such as a $6 million grant program to develop new and existing industrial sites across the state. Not to mention a $1 million grant program to develop tourism assets in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

For 2016, TNECD has set lofty goals that include a target of 29,000 new job commitments, ten new Select Tennessee Certified Sites, and the opening of five new international offices. Landing an OEM on the Memphis Regional Megasite is likewise one of their top priorities for 2016.

Google $600M Data Center in Clarksville, TN Will be 100% Powered by Renewable Energy

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Google officials have announced that the company has acquired the the former Hemlock Semiconductor site in Clarksville, TN, and it will become Google’s 15th data center.


Google (photo- Nyshita talluri/wikimedia)

Google plans to invest $600 million into the project, which will be their eighth data center in the United States and 15th globally. The company expects to create 70 new jobs at the new data center.

Governor Haslam said in a release that “This is one of the world’s most well-known brands, so it says a lot for our state that it will soon be home to Google’s eighth U.S. data center.”

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd added that “To have a company like Google choose our state for its newest data center means a great deal as it will not only add to Clarksville’s business landscape, but it will also provide new opportunities for our workforce.”

In a post on the Google Green Blog, Google Vice President for Data Center Operations, Joe Kava said that “We’ll be able to re-use much of the existing infrastructure, and will recycle and re-design what we don’t. Based on our assessments, this site will be able to house new technologies we’re currently testing in research & development, which would make this data center the most technologically advanced in the world.”

Kava also noted that the arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will enable them to scout new renewable energy projects and work with them to bring that power onto their electrical grid. Google has already signed 2 gigawatts of renewable energy supply contracts to offset the power used across their portfolio of data centers – equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.

The roughly 1,300 acre site will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy thanks to the arrangement with the TVA. The site in question is a TVA certified megasite at the Commerce Park (1000 Solar Way) in Clarksville that was formerly the Hemlock Semiconductor plant. Dow Corning and HSC selected it in Dec 2008 for a $1.2 billion project with 500 jobs, but it was never completed.

This is Google’s second successive data center deal with TVA, following the company’s decision earlier this year to invest $600 million to establish a data center on TVA’s Widows Creek soon-to-be retired coal plant site in North Alabama.

TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in the release that “Collaboration is vital to economic development. Today we recognize a notable result of the ongoing collaboration among state and local government, the business community and TVA to attract good jobs and sustainable investments to our region.”

Google will also launch a formal community grants program in partnership with City and County officials to support science and technology education, carbon reduction and access to the Internet in the area.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said in the release that “From a regional perspective, this is a very exciting announcement…Google’s investment in Clarksville-Montgomery County is proof that the technology industry is a significant part of that growth.”

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett added that “Google is a household name, with a history of being great community partners. We not only look forward to working with them, but to also watching them grow their data center operations in our area.”

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