By Commissioner Randy Boyd
Congratulations! We broke 25,000! While last month it appeared inevitable that we would break our target of 25,000 job commitments, it certainly didn’t seem so back in January. In fact, knowing what I know now, we would have certainly been a lot more contemplative about setting such a high target. But with three weeks left in the year, we managed to secure 25,530 job commitments as of today!
At 1,500 jobs, the largest commitment of the year was from Community Health Systems. CHS announced plans in May to expand its current operations by investing $66 million to construct a new Shared Services Center in Nashville. CHS Chairman and CEO Wayne T. Smith credits Tennessee’s business environment, skilled workforce and quality of life for the company’s decision and said, “We’ve known for thirty years that Middle Tennessee is a great place to do business.” We are so pleased that CHS calls Tennessee home and appreciate the new jobs created for our workforce.
While it was easy to focus solely on the numbers as we inched toward 25,000, it is also important to consider the impact a company can have on its community when we measure success.
In East Tennessee, DENSO announced two expansions this year. In January, DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee (DMAT) revealed plans to build a new 224,000 square foot facility at its existing location – marking its third major investment in an 18-month period – which represented the creation of 400 new jobs in McMinn County. Seven months later, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Blount County’s largest employer, announced it would expand its manufacturing plant in Maryville making it one of the largest operating campuses in DENSO Corporation’s worldwide operations. The company committed to creating 500 jobs through the project. 2015 was also the company’s 25th year in Maryville and to commemorate its anniversary, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee gave back to the community by donating a gift $50,000 to Blount Memorial Hospital and a separate gift of $50,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.