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Walk-in cooler, freezer and environmental chamber manufacturer to create 64 new jobs

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with KPS Global LLC officials announced today the company will expand in Piney Flats. The walk-in cooler, freezer and environmental chamber manufacturer will invest $1.5 million and create 64 new jobs in Sullivan County.

“Over 344,000 Tennesseans work in manufacturing and that number will continue to rise exponentially with the help of companies like KPS Global choosing to grow in our state,” Boyd said. “I want to thank KPS Global for expanding in Sullivan County and for creating more than 60 new jobs for our Team Tennessee workforce.”

KPS Global will add 37,000 square feet to its current facility in Sullivan County. In addition, KPS Global will locate a portion of its operations to a second building in the same industrial park to increase both the manufacturing and warehousing areas. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2017.

“With this expansion, KPS Global has also signed a new lease on the facility and is committed to growing the business and volume of work being performed in the newly expanded facility,” Trey Cown, KPS Global vice president of operations, said. “KPS Global LLC has added many new positions over the past year and will look to continue to add jobs with the anticipated growth.”

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the Piney Flats team and Tri-Cities communities,” KPS Global Plant Manager Rick Newberry added.

KPS Global, which has been located in Sullivan County since 1996, is a leader in the manufacturing and installation of walk-in cooler products and environmental chambers. The company serves the supermarket, convenience store, scientific and industrial markets.

“KPS Global has been a preferred employer for some time in Sullivan County, so it is gratifying to have them reinvest in our community and state, and it speaks to our position as a business destination,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said. “Nothing makes a stronger statement to other companies that might be considering a move to our state than our existing companies thriving here.”

“KPS Global had some other compelling options in the Southeast and East Coast to make this move, not to mention buildings and sites in Northeast Tennessee, but because of the productivity of its Piney Flats workforce, its leadership made the decision to expand the current facility and that speaks volumes,” Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable said. “I’d like to commend NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, particularly Brian Ritz, for working with KPS leadership throughout a very competitive process to secure this expansion and enable KPS Global to continue to benefit from the outstanding workforce and grow here in Sullivan County.”

“TVA, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services and Johnson City Power Board congratulate KPS Global on its decision to expand in Sullivan County,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “Helping to create new job opportunities is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service. We are pleased to partner with NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, Sullivan County, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help further that mission.”

Piney Flats and Sullivan County are represented by Sen. Jon Lundberg (R – Bristol), Rep. Timothy Hill (R – Blountville), Rep. Bud Hulsey (R – Kingsport) and Rep. John Crawford (R – Kingsport) in the Tennessee General Assembly.



NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd and Leclerc Foods officials announced today that the food producer will establish its U.S. headquarters in Kingsport and expand production operations.


Leclerc Foods is investing approximately $49 million to establish a second facility in Kingsport and create 105 new jobs. The facility will include a new manufacturing line for granola bars, warehousing and distribution space as well as Leclerc Foods’ U.S. headquarters operations.


“Leclerc Foods’ decision to bring its U.S. headquarters to Kingsport is a prime example of our economic development efforts hitting on all cylinders,” Haslam said.  “Since first establishing a new manufacturing plant in Kingsport eight years ago, Leclerc Foods has expanded considerably. Now, Leclerc Foods is doubling its Kingsport workforce and adding high quality office jobs that will have an even bigger impact on Sullivan County. I’d like to thank Leclerc Foods for creating more valuable jobs in Kingsport and bringing us closer toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”


“Companies in the food and beverage industry have invested more than $2 billion in Tennessee during the past six years, creating more than 6,500 jobs,” Boyd said. “Leclerc Foods has been an important part of this thriving sector, growing to employ around 100 Tennesseans. More and more international companies like Leclerc Foods want to do business in Tennessee because our skilled workforce and favorable business environment offer them tremendous growth opportunities. I’m excited for Leclerc Foods’ expansion in Sullivan County, which will produce considerable benefits for Kingsport residents and their families.”


Founded in 1905, Leclerc Foods is a leader in the cookie, snack bar and cracker industry. The Canadian food manufacturer employs more than 650 people in six facilities and distributes its products to roughly 20 different countries. Leclerc Foods’ expansion in Kingsport is driven by increased market demand in the U.S.


“We have chosen to operate a second plant in Kingsport because this acquisition fits our business vision and corporate development strategy. This plant will manufacture certified gluten-free products exclusively. It will allow us to position ourselves near our U.S. clients and meet their specifics needs,” said Jean-Sébastien Leclerc, vice president of co-manufacturing and manufacturing infrastructure at Leclerc Foods. 


Leclerc Foods currently employs around 100 Tennesseans in its existing Kingsport plant, which produces crackers and cookies. Leclerc Foods will continue operations at its first Kingsport facility, which opened in 2008 and has undergone two prior expansions.


As part of the newest expansion, Leclerc Foods plans to renovate and upgrade an existing building. The work to rehab the facility will begin by the end of 2016. Leclerc Foods anticipates the renovations will be completed in by mid-2017. 


Local officials applauded Leclerc Foods for its expansion in Kingsport. 


“It is a great honor to have Leclerc Foods choose Kingsport and the state of Tennessee as the location of its U.S. headquarters and second operations facility. This investment by Leclerc Foods shows confidence that it can find a great location, operate in a pro-business environment and hire a workforce which can meet the demands of its customers by locating this facility here in Kingsport and Sullivan County,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said. “We hope to see Leclerc Foods continue to grow here, and we are so thankful it chose to invest in our community and our state once again.”


“Leclerc Foods’ decision to locate its U.S. headquarters and a second plant in Kingsport reinforces our position that we are a vibrant city that offers an outstanding workforce to support more than 100 new jobs as well as a very high quality of life to attract and retain professional talent,” Kingsport Mayor John Clark said. “These corporate location decisions continue to support our desire to be where Tennessee begins its business day. We look forward to working with Leclerc Foods as it continues to thrive in Northeast Tennessee and across the globe.”


“I am thrilled that Leclerc Foods has decided to double down in Sullivan County. When an existing company chooses you for a second time after a competitive recruiting process, it speaks volumes about our workforce and pro-business culture,” Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable said. “This was a great team win with NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, the City of Kingsport, Sullivan County, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development all stepping up to land a project that was on a fast-track pace. I wish Leclerc Foods continued success as it produces another line of great products and locates its U.S. headquarters in Northeast Tennessee.” 


Kingsport and Sullivan County are represented by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R – Blountville), Sen. Jon Lundberg (R – Bristol), Rep. Timothy Hill (R – Blountville), Rep. Bud Hulsey (R – Kingsport) and Rep. John Crawford (R – Kingsport) in the Tennessee General Assembly.  


About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: TNECD.com. Follow us on Twitter: @TNECD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/TNECD.




NETWORKS Unveils Promotional Video
Latest Marketing Piece Focuses on Quality of Life as Well as Business Attributes

BLOUNTVILLE, TN – NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, the economic development organization serving Bluff City, Bristol, Kingsport, and Sullivan County as well as marketing and recruiting for Phipps Bend Industrial Park in Hawkins County, Tennessee, unveiled its latest marketing product today.  CEO Clay Walker presented a promotional video at the organization’s Board Meeting held at Northeast State Community College.

“Videos are a tricky marketing tool in the economic development world,” Walker said.  “You have to be brief and yet say a great deal.  Pace is a key component in holding the audience’s attention.  And our target audience – site location consultants and C-level executives – doesn’t have a lot of time to watch promotional videos, so if you do one, it had better be provocative, informative, and unique.  I think we have an outstanding marketing tool.”

The video, which runs a little more than three and a half minutes, is a compilation of the region’s many attributes that might appeal to businesses looking for a new location, in areas such as workforce and education, transportation, and other infrastructure, an abundance of shovel-ready sites, and an outstanding quality of life.  Kingsport, Tennessee-based Cumberland Marketing produced the video.

“It’s been a great experience working with the team at NETWORKS to create this tool.  So many people worked together to make this project a success,” Chris Bowen, President of Cumberland Marketing, said.  “The challenge of creating a video that captures the essence of our beautiful area to showcase to the rest of the world was exciting.  Hopefully, it is very successful.”

Walker said the video would be integrated into the organization’s website, www.networkstn.com, given directly to consultants and prospects, and presented at special events, such as the organization’s annual Red Carpet Tour, a three-day familiarization tour attended by leading site location consultants.  He also said that at least three other videos will likely be produced focusing on workforce training and education, available sites and buildings, and existing business and industry.

“This video is a nice addition to our marketing portfolio,” said Dana Glenn, NETWORKS Administrative and Marketing Coordinator.  “It’s a beautiful vehicle to showcase our communities and business advantages to reinforce our identity as Where Tennessee Begins Its Business Day!”

“We pride ourselves in being at the forefront of marketing efforts and while a community video is not a new concept, I think this one is special,” Walker said.  “It tells our story as a fantastic place to live and a great business destination.  It’s a story worth telling.”



MEDFORD, Mass. and BRISTOL, Tenn., – March 4, 2016 – Agero, Inc., a leading provider of vehicle and driver safety, security and information services, announced today that it has selected the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee as the site for the company’s sixth inbound contact center. Agero currently operates five regional facilities in Clarksville, Tenn., Medford, Mass., Sebring, Fla., Tucson, Ariz., and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The contact centers provide critical roadside assistance to over 75 million drivers nationwide. This expansion to a sixth center is in response to Agero’s growing customer base and the rising demand of its high-touch roadside assistance services.

“Over the past several years, we have experienced tremendous growth as more and more companies within the automotive and insurance industries are adopting new technologies such as UBI, location-aware services and data analytics. Across the nation, our call center agents respond to more than 8 million requests annually, and with our growing customer portfolio, we want to ensure that drivers are receiving top-notch customer service from experienced professionals,” said Agero CEO Dave Ferrick. “With its close knit community and strong labor market, we found the Tri-Cities area to be the ideal location for our newest facility, and look forward to building a lasting partnership with the local residents.”

The Tri-Cities contact center is scheduled to open in Spring 2016. Agero will be holding job fairs from March to May 2016 with the goal of hiring 600 associates to support the new site. The company will be interviewing for a variety of positions including response associates, supervisors, operations managers, contact center director, and various human resources, information technology and facilities staff.

“I couldn’t be more excited that Agero has decided to make Bristol home to its latest facility,” said Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable. “This industry sector has been a steady employer in our region and Agero is as coveted as any company within that sector. I know they will find an outstanding workforce which is the key to any successful business, and I look forward to working with them as they grow and prosper where Tennessee begins it business day.”

“It’s welcome news that Agero has selected Bristol for this impressive project. This company has a history of exceeding expectations in every community where they have a presence. The impact of this win will be felt throughout Northeast Tennessee. I wish them the best of luck and congratulate them on making an outstanding decision. I know they will have great success here,” said Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey.

With demand for Agero’s services increasing, the Tri-Cities site will leverage mobile and cloud technologies to enable the associates to provide the best service to drivers in need. Agero is dedicated to maintaining a skilled staff at all of its regional centers, and will be offering extensive training opportunities for the new Tri-Cities associates. Agents at Agero’s new facility will also enjoy a high energy and fulfilling work environment, as well as a casual dress code.

“Beyond the critical work being done within the contact center every day, Agero also strongly believes that corporate social responsibility is important to encouraging a positive work environment that extends from associate to consumers and the community at large. The company looks forward to supporting and encouraging associates at the new Tri-Cities location to be active participants in their local communities through education programs, community building events, fundraising initiatives, and Corporate Giving Programs,” said Agero VP of Human Resources, Sandy Savage.

According to NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker, “Agero is the ideal corporate citizen. In my conversations with colleagues who have worked with Agero in other communities, they have raved about Agero’s pattern of exceeding all of its projections and given the company high marks on community involvement. If you were to hand pick a company from the call center sector for your community, you’d be hard pressed to find one that matches, much less exceeds Agero.”

The facility is located in the 48,500 square-foot building at 115 Sprint Drive, Blountville, Tenn., formerly known as the Sprint Call Center. The building is also Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Agero is slated to occupy the building the week of March 7th with operations under way in late Spring 2016. Agero will begin the first round of hiring the week of March 14th. The first training for new agents is scheduled for April 25th.

Agero’s regional contact centers handle incoming calls from vehicle owners, acting on behalf of vehicle manufacturers and insurance providers that offer roadside assistance through Agero as part of their service packages. The new Tri-Cities center is anticipated to handle up to four million inbound calls within the first year of its operation.

Applicants can apply online at Agero.com/careers.


Article source - Agero.com

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