Fresenius Medical Care Facility in Knoxville to Create 665 Jobs

Dialysis care and supplies provider Fresenius Medical Care will be locating a new manufacturing facility in the Forks of the River Industrial Park in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett discussing PILOT agreement for Fresenius Medical Care

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett discussing PILOT agreement for Fresenius Medical Care (photo – Knox County Mayor)

The company will invest $140 million into the project, and will be creating 665 new jobs in Knox County.

The announcement was made by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty, along with Fresenius Medical Care executives.

Gov. Haslam said he appreciates the new jobs being created in Knox County, and thanked Fresenius Medical Care for their investment in Tennessee.

TNECD is the department which handles Tennessee economic development projects, programs and initiatives.

Commissioner Hagerty said the company’s decision to locate their new manufacturing facility in Knox County demonstrates how the state’s strengths are aligned with the needs of the global business community.

The new Knoxville plant will produce dialysis related products that will be shipped to the company’s distribution centers and clinics on the east coast.

Fresenius Medical Care has more than 2,150 of their own dialysis facilities in North America, and also provides services in the U.S., Canada and Mexico through affiliated hospitals, pharmacies and labs.

Fresenius Medical Care North America Vice President of Manufacturing Troy McGhee said the location will enable them to serve customers in the eastern half of the U.S. more efficiently. McGhee said that in Knoxville, they had found a home with an excellent workforce pool, and added that they were drawn by the area’s outstanding business climate.

The Knox County Industrial Development Board has approved an eight year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program for Fresenius that will save the company $3.86 million in taxes.

Knox IDB Chair Trey Coleman said they were thrilled at being part of the recruitment of an outstanding company like Fresenius Medical Care to Knox County. Coleman said the Fresenius manufacturing facility will have a long-term economic impact on the community, and this made it easy to support local tax incentives for the project.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said Fresenius Medical Care’s expansion into the Forks of the River Industrial Park utilizes an industrial property which had been lying vacant, and the hundreds of high-tech manufacturing jobs coming to Knox County will have a significant economic impact on the entire region.

Tennessee Economic Development Launches IDEA to Help Main Street Programs

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced the launch of “IDEA” as a state-federal partnership initiative with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

TN Main Street communities

TN Main Street communities (photo – tennesseemainstreet.org)

IDEA is an acronym for “Ignite Downtown Economic Action.” IDEA will help designated Main Street economic development programs in Tennessee set effective and sustainable objectives.

There are 27 Main Street communities in Tennessee, and IDEA will provide each participating community with an assessment and a set of recommendations based on the Four Point model (design, economic restructuring, organization and promotion) that the National Main Street Center offers.

To be specific, the National Main Street Center has asked Barman Development Strategies, LLC to help each Main Street community identify its downtown strengths, market position and existing development needs or opportunities.

To this end, there will be public workshops held in each community throughout the rest of the year.

TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said they were pleased to partner with the USDA and the Appalachian Regional Commission on this innovative and exciting new program, which he said was a welcome addition to the efforts that the Main Street communities are already making on a daily basis for furthering economic development.

Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan likewise noted that Main Street programs work with entrepreneurs and small businesses every day, and IDEA will help these programs create downtown environments conducive for successful businesses and job creation.

The TNECD, USDA and ARC are together putting up $121,500 for the IDEA Initiative.

USDA Rural development State Director Bobby Goode said the amount of money invested for each town may seem pretty small, but they will be leveraging each other’s strengths by working together at the local, state and federal levels to take this next step and future steps that grow out of plans each community makes as a result of the IDEA Initiative.

In 2012, designated Main Street communities in Tennessee created 604 new jobs and generated more than $82 million in public/private investments.

During the last four years, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3.7 billion into Tennessee’s local economies through grants, loan guarantees and loans that have helped 1.5 million families and businesses in 158 communities.

The ARC is a regional economic development agency formed as a federal, state and local government partnership, and is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair.

TNECD is the main Tennessee economic development agency tasked with developing strategies to make Tennessee the top location in the Southeast for quality jobs.

Google Pitches Fiber to 34 Cities as Economic Development Tool

Google has invited 34 cities across nine metropolitan areas to work with them on finding out whether it would be possible to bring them Google Fiber.

Google Fiber expansion to 9 metro areas

Google Fiber expansion to 9 metro areas (photo – fiber.google.com)

Offering speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, a Google Fiber connection is up to 100 times faster than currently available average broadband Internet speeds.

Google Fiber projects are already being implemented in Kansas City, Austin and Provo. Ramping up availability to 34 of the biggest cities on both coasts takes it to a whole new level.

Google is pitching the expansion and high-speed Internet access as a necessary economic development tool that mayors from all over the map have said will spark innovation and drive economic growth while improving education.

Milo S. Medin, VP, Google Access Services, said in a blog post announcing the proposed Google Fiber expansion that Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee [both on the list of invited cities] and dozens of others have made high-speed broadband a pillar of their economic development plans.

Medin also singled out San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has declared that every school should have gigaspeed Internet access by 2020.

The nine metro areas that Google is targeting for an expansion of Google Fiber are Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh-Dunham, NC.

Google has asked all the invited cities to put together a checklist that will make it easier for a Fiber project to go ahead in their city. For example, cities have been requested to streamline permitting processes and provide maps of existing conduits and utility lines.

This information can be used by Google to follow the plan and use existing infrastructure such as utility poles instead of digging up streets to put a new pole up next to an existing one. Google will be doing its own detailed study of each city including the topography, housing density, and the condition of infrastructure.

This process will be completed by the end of the year, at which time Google will be able to announce which of these 34 cities will be getting Google Fiber.

Medin noted in his blog post that cities which go through this process will end up more prepared for any provider who wants to lay out a fiber network.

Furthermore, as a means of helping other communities everywhere who want to bring fiber to their residents, Google plans to share what they learn from their studies involving the 34 invited cities.

Clean Line Seeks Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy Converter Station

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE) is holding a board meeting during which the board will consider approving a PILOT tax agreement with Houston-based Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC.

Plains & Eastern Clean Line

Plains & Eastern Clean Line (photo – plainsandeasterncleanline.com)

Clean Line is considering setting up a $259 million renewable energy converter station near Millington in Shelby County, Tennessee, or at an alternate site in Tipton County.

The converter station will be at one end of a 700 mile, 600 kilovolt direct current electric transmission line.

The line will bring renewable power from the Panhandle of Oklahoma all the way to the converter station in Tennessee, which will convert the DC power to AC and tie it into the Tennessee Valley Authority network.

If it gets all the approvals, construction will start on the project in 2016 and is expected to be completed in two years.

Once the converter station is built and the entire project is operational, the facility will deliver more than 3,500 megawatts of renewable energy to the mid-South and southeastern United States via the TVA network.

According to the company, the whole project is estimated to create more than 5,000 construction jobs and over 500 permanent jobs maintaining the transmission line.

The converter station project in Shelby County will create 16 jobs at average annual wages of $56,875. The project will also support the creation of another 24 indirect jobs, adding up to a total of 40 jobs.

The company will invest $9.6 million on transmission lines, in addition to $1.248 million for acquiring 208 acres of land for the converter station, and another $10 million to build the 30,000-square-foot facility. The remaining $239 million is for the converter equipment at the facility.

The company is asking for an 11-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement that amounts to a tax abatement of 41 percent on all of the above, including the transmission lines, facility and the equipment.

The project will still generate $36.22 million in new tax revenue for Shelby County over the 11-year period at $3.19 million per year. After that, the county will get the full $5.4 million in annual taxes from the project.

The EDGE board meeting to consider the PILOT agreement with Plains and Eastern Clean Line is scheduled to be held on Feb 19, 2014.

Beretta Selects Gallatin, Tennessee For $45M Firearms Manufacturing Plant

Beretta announced that the company is expanding its U.S. operations with a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin Industrial Park in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Beretta Gallatin, Tennessee firearms plant

Beretta Gallatin, Tennessee firearms plant (photo – blog.beretta.com)

The announcement was made by Beretta USA officials along with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty.

Beretta will invest $45 million for setting up the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and an R&D center.

Beretta will be creating 300 new jobs in Gallatin and Sumner County for the project.

Back in May 2013, Beretta USA, which has a factory in Accokeek, MD, had issued a statement objecting to the passage of gun control legislation (SB281) in the state.

Although Beretta announced that it would not be relocating the factory, they did say they would be taking steps to evaluate investments in other states.

Franco Gussalli Beretta, executive vice president and director of Beretta Holding S.p.A., now says that from the moment they started considering a location outside Maryland for the expansion, Governor Haslam and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee.

Mr. Beretta added that they are convinced they can find no better place than Tennessee to establish the manufacturing enterprise.

Gov. Haslam said that attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces the goal of becoming the No.1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.

Jeff Reh, Beretta USA general counsel and vice-general manager, said that when Beretta chooses a location for its business, they start with the possibility that they will be in that location for decades to come, if not hundreds of years. He said they are moving forward with confidence knowing that Tennessee is a great place to do business.

Commissioner Hagerty said the significant announcement by Beretta USA is a historic moment for the State of Tennessee, the Haslam Administration and the ECD. He added that Beretta is one of the best brands in the world, and he appreciates their decision to locate in Tennessee.

Beretta will complete construction on the facility this year, and will be manufacturing both their sporting and tactical product lines at the plant.

Conduit Global Selects Memphis For Call Center With 1000 Jobs

Conduit Global, one of the world’s largest independent business process outsourcing companies, has chosen Shelby County, Tennessee for a new 1,000-seat call center.

Conduit Global jobs announcement

Conduit Global jobs announcement (photo – Memphis Chamber)

The company will invest $8 million for making building and infrastructure improvements at the new facility in the Goodlett Farms Office Park in Cordova, which is mostly a part of the City of Memphis now.

The Memphis facility will be Conduit Global’s sixth location in the U.S., and will create more than 1,000 new jobs. The NYC-based company has more than 5,000 employees across nine countries.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty made the announcement along with Conduit Global President Bryce Hayes and other company officials.

Gov. Haslam said they were grateful to Conduit Global for creating more than 1,000 new jobs in Shelby County.

Commissioner Hagerty said business services is a sector where Tennessee possesses a unique competitive edge, and added that he couldn’t be more pleased to see Conduit add to the state’s strength in business process outsourcing.

Hayes said they are excited to partner with the State of Tennessee to expand their operations. He said that with the strong infrastructure, solid labor market and the access to technical schools and universities, they believe Tennessee provides the best opportunity for Conduit Global to meet its goals.

Mark Herbison, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of Economic Development, said the City’s business community is extremely excited about the new jobs and opportunities Conduit Global will bring to citizens at every economic level in the community.

Herbison thanked Gov. Haslam, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and their teams for all the support they provided in bringing this huge number of jobs to Memphis and Shelby County.

Mayor Wharton in turn thanked the Tennessee ECD for helping them market the community, which he said brought about this amazing addition. He added that this is another indication that when marketing and recruiting efforts are organized to leverage Memphis’ assets including workforce potential and natural and built infrastructure, they are able to compete with any city in the nation.

Mayor Luttrell said the news about the addition of 1,000 new Global Conduit jobs to the local economy is testimony that economic conditions in Shelby County are improving.

Business Facilities Names Tennessee as “State of the Year”

Business Facilities magazine has named Tennessee as its “2013 State of the Year” based on an evaluation of the top projects for jobs created and amount of capital invested in each state.

TN. Gov Bill Haslam at Hankook Tire Co announcement

TN. Gov Bill Haslam at Hankook Tire Co announcement (photo – tn.gov)

Tennessee ranked first by virtue of its top projects creating 6,900 jobs. Following Tennessee on the list were Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The biggest projects Tennessee landed in 2013 were a $1.6 billion investment by the Eastman Chemical Company, and South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook’s $800 million plant in Clarksville that will create 1,800 jobs in Montgomery County over the next five years.

Here’s Tennessee’s list of top five projects for both jobs created and capital invested:-

Top five projects for jobs:- Hankook Tire Co., Ltd – 1,800 jobs; ARAMARK – 1,500 jobs; Nissan North America, Inc. – 1,400 jobs; Calsonic Kansei North America, Inc. – 1,200 jobs; and UBS – 1,000 jobs

Top five projects for capital investment:- Eastman Chemical Company – $1.6 billion; Hankook Tire Co., Ltd – $800 million; International Paper Company – $321 million; Nike, Inc. – $276 million; and Alcoa, Inc. – $275 million

Gov. Bill Haslam said that a lot of hard work goes into keeping Tennessee competitive, and he wanted to thank Business Facilities for recognizing the efforts of so many people across the state.

Tennessee is now the only state other than Texas to be named more than once as the “State of the Year” by Business Facilities magazine since they began this tradition in 2007. Tennessee ranked first in 2009 and 2013, while Texas topped the charts in 2007 and 2012.

Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said Tennessee continues to impress with its aggressive execution of a diversified growth strategy. Rogers said the state has put in place a solid foundation for robust job creation for years to come.

TN Dept of Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty said that over the past year, Tennessee has experienced unprecedented amounts of momentum.

Commissioner Hagerty said the global companies that invested capital in the state and the number of jobs created demonstrate to the world that Tennessee not only provides a top-notch business environment, but also the ongoing support needed for success.

9to5 Seating Relocating Manufacturing Facility to Union City, TN

Hawthorne, California-based 9to5 Seating announced the relocation of its manufacturing facilities to Union City, Tennessee.

9to5 Seating

9to5 Seating (photo – 9to5seating.com)

9to5 Seating, a vertically integrated manufacturer which currently makes its line of ergonomic office seating in China, is bringing back production to the U.S.

The company will invest $39.5 million on the project, which is expected to create 510 new jobs in Obion County over the next five years.

The new facility will be housed in the Union City IDB spec building in the Northwest Regional Industrial Center, making it easy for the company to get started quickly.

Production is scheduled to start early next year, at which time 9to5 Seating also plans to launch a new product line under a brand to be known as “Made in America (MIA) Seating.”

9to5 Seating CEO Darius Mir said they were determined not only to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., but also reverse the trend of the last three decades by exporting quality products made in the USA competitively to Asia and the rest of the world.

Mir said they chose Union City because of its talented workforce, proximity to their major markets, and the generous assistance provided the company by Union City, Obion County and the State of Tennessee.added

Union City Mayor Terry Hailey said they had been working on this project since the spring, and 9to5 Seating was a good company offering good jobs that the community will embrace. He said this announcement has come at a time when there is a critical need of new jobs in Obion County and Union City.

Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire said that with the season of Thanksgiving approaching fast, they were counting their blessings once again. Lindsay Frilling, economic development director of the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council, likewise said it was a blessed day for Obion County and Union City.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty said he appreciates 9to5 Seating’s investment in Union City and the company’s continued focus on reshoring manufacturing jobs back to the state.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said projects like these highlight all the great things that are happening in the state and reinforce their goal of making Tennessee the number one location for quality jobs in the Southeast.

Great Lakes Cheese to Invest $100M in Manchester, TN

Hiram, Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese announced plans to establish their first manufacturing facility in the Southeast in the Manchester Industrial Park in Manchester, Tennessee.

Great Lakes Cheese

Great Lakes Cheese (photo – greatlakescheese.com)

Great Lakes Cheese will invest $100 million to build the 330,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

The project will create 204 new and direct jobs in Coffee County over the next four years.

This will the ninth facility operated by Great Lakes Cheese, and its fourth super plant. Apart from its headquarters in Hiram and the proposed facility in Manchester, the company has seven other existing facilities including one in Utah, two in New York and four more in Wisconsin.

Craig Filkouski, vice president of Operations for Great Lakes Cheese, said that strategically placed manufacturing facilities were essential for serving customers’ evolving needs and for providing opportunities for future growth.

TN Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said the state’s ideal location, logistical advantages and first-class infrastructure lets companies such as Great Lakes Cheese be confident about the decision to open new facilities that will yield a high return on their investment.

Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman said the project will have a positive impact creating employment opportunities and retail growth for Coffee County and the City of Manchester.

Mayor Norman said the aldermen were in agreement with everything that was asked of the City, and thanked the Coffee County Industrial Board for the long hours of efforts and work done to recruit Great Lakes Cheese.

Bill Comer, chairman of the Coffee County Industrial Board, said the recruitment had been a cooperative effort between the Industrial Board, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and the Coffee County Commission, along with state support provided by the Tennessee ECD.

All these organizations working together were able to meet the company’s fast schedule for approvals and breaking ground on the project by the end of the year.

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Coffee County Commission have both approved local matching funds for a state infrastructure grant for the project, which had previously been identified only as Project Wallace.

Comer added he was extremely excited that the Manchester Industrial Park had been selected as the site of the new plant by Great Lakes Cheese, and said the project would be a great first occupant for the park and would provide high quality jobs for residents in the area.

Hankook Tire Selects Clarksville, TN for $800M Project With 1800 Jobs

South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook Tire announced plans to build a tire manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Hankook Tire announcement in Clarksville, TN

Hankook Tire announcement in Clarksville, TN (photo – hankooktireusa.com)

The company will invest $800 million for the project and create 1,800 new jobs in the region.

The announcement was made in a joint event at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center in Clarksville by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire.

Gov. Haslam thanked Hankook Tire for the substantial investment in the state and for the 1,800 jobs the company will create in Montgomery County.

Mr. Seung Hwa Suh said the new facility will help the company accomplish their plan of establishing a production base in every major market. He said they would be able to provide car makers, consumers and their customers with industry leading service and high-quality tires for meeting the American market’s demands.

This is Hankook’s eighth global plant, and their first one in the U.S. They plan to break ground by the end of next year and have the plant ready for tire production by 2016.

Hankook’s state-of-the-art facility in Clarksville will have an annual capacity of 11 million tires to supply the company’s growing business in the U.S.

The company first announced last year about its plans to build a manufacturing plant in the U.S. Last month, Hankook executives including Mr. Seung Hwa Suh held a press conference in Seoul during which they said they were looking at locations in the Southeastern United States for a tire manufacturing plant.

They mentioned having visited five to six states, and specifically said that the company was engaged in discussions with Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

The company said in a statement that the Clarksville location was ideal for them, with an extensive transportation network including interstates, rail, plane and access to the Mississippi River inland waterway.

Hankook Tire America Corp. is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. They currently market and distribute a full line of high-performance passenger tires, SUV tires, light and medium truck tires, and bus tires with more than 400 dealers and over 3000 retail sales locations in the U.S. and Canada.

The parent company, Seoul, South Korea-based Hankook Tire, is the seventh largest tire manufacturer in the world and already has a production capacity of 93 million tires per year.

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