Lifetime Products, Inc. is the leader in blow-molded plastic products and has applied innovation and cutting-edge technology in plastics and metals to create a family of affordable lifestyle products that feature superior strength and durability. Its products range from chairs, basketball hoops and outdoor sheds to kayaks and paddleboards.
Lifetime announced last November it will locate a new manufacturing and distribution center in Knox County, creating 500 jobs. The news was made public at an event attended by Gov. Haslam, Commissioner Boyd, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and members of Lifetime’s leadership team. At the new Knox County facility, the company will focus on producing its watersports line as well as its outdoor children’s playset line.
It is great to have Lifetime be a part of Tennessee’s success. Lifetime is a perfect fit for Team Tennessee, and we wanted to showcase this great company by talking with CEO Richard Hendrickson about the company and his decision to locate in Tennessee.
Why did Lifetime choose Knox County for its new manufacturing facility?
Lifetime chose Knox County based on many different data points:
- Logistical advantages for our freight intensive products being shipped to our customers in the eastern US.
- Inbound rail for bringing raw materials to our factory.
- Available labor force to fill a variety of employment needs.
- Cost effective utilities and dependable service levels.
- The amazing people on the Knoxville Chamber’s economic development team who worked so hard with us.
Since you will be producing your watersports line at this facility, did Knox County’s great outdoors sway your decision to locate there?
While the county’s great outdoors is attractive to our people, especially those who will relocate from Utah to Knox County, it was not one of our main reasons, but it is a great bonus for recruiting and retaining great people.
What do Knox County and the state of Tennessee have to offer a company like Lifetime?
The state of Tennessee is a great state, with business friendly tax law and government leadership. I feel that Bill Haslam has a good understanding of what it takes to make Tennessee a business friendly environment. I feel that the local government supports us in every way that it can.
Please briefly discuss the process of choosing the location for Lifetime’s new manufacturing facility and how the city and state helped throughout. What factors were being considered throughout the decision making process?
We have been investigating building a factory on the East Coast for the last five years in general discussion. About a year ago, we started a more serious investigatory process. We looked at eight to 10 different states. We reviewed utilities costs, available labor and logistical advantages of each. We met with multiple economic development teams, and at the end of the process, Knox County was our first choice. The team did a great job addressing our concerns and needs.
To learn more about Lifetime Products, visit lifetime.com.