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DLH Industries plans to open plant in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Twenty-five new automotive-related jobs are coming to Bristol later this year, with projections that number will increase to at least 75 within a year.

DLH Industries of Canton, Ohio, will locate its newest manufacturing facility in Bristol, the city, state and economic development group NETWORKS – Sullivan Partnership announced Wednesday afternoon.

DLH is a global supplier of engineered plastic solutions in the automotive and other markets.

“We are pleased to announce today that Bristol will be gaining its newest member to our manufacturing community,” City Manager Jeff Broughton said in a city news release. “DLH Industries has confirmed today that they will be expanding operations in Bristol with their purchase of the former Bristol Jeans plant on Weaver Pike, opening up a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facilit y. ”

The automobile parts manufacturer, mentioned as an unidentified industry looking to locate somewhere in Sullivan County during last week’s regular NETWORKS board meeting, is projecting to start manufacturing operations later this fall. DLH is a supplier of air and fluid management assemblies and components.

“On behalf of Gov. Bill Haslam, I would like to officially welcome DLH Industries to Sullivan County,” Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Bill Hagerty said in a state news release. “The automotive industry is one of the key industry clusters we have identified where Tennessee has a competitive advantage, and I am pleased that DLH has recognized the business-friendly climate and quality work force that our state offers.”

Initial employment at the new facility will be 25 employees and will expand during the next year to a projected 75 employees, according to both news releases, although NETWORKS had indicated the then-unnamed industry might have 100 jobs within the first year.

Those were among 325 jobs in the “committed” or “nearly committed” categories in the June NETWORKS Scorecard, not counting an Irish manufacturer poised to start operations soon near Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

“We competed with the state of Ohio and others for this important expansion of DLH Industries. We appreciate the help of all our partners in working to create new jobs for our area,” NETWORKS CEO Richard Venable said in the city news release.

In a phone interview, Venable said he hoped the facility might grow employment over time.

“We were very impressed with the coordinated effort put forth by the state of Tennessee, the city of Bristol and their collective business development partners, and we are excited about coming to the city of Bristol and the great state of Tennessee” John Saxon, president and CEO of DLH, said in both releases.

DLH is headquartered in Canton, Ohio, and operates multiple manufacturing locations in North America with sales offices in Canton; Southfield, Mich.; and Hilton Head, S.C.

DLH recently received the General Motors 2010 Global Supplier of the Year award for its significant contributions to GM’s global product and performance achievements. This marks the fourth consecutive year DLH Industries has earned the award. This award is only given to 82 of GM’s nearly 20,000 suppliers worldwide, the city release said.

Published June 30th, 2011 4:04 am
By Rick Wagner