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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


Homeland Vinyl Products Purchases Former Alladin Plastics Plant in Phipps Bend Industrial Park - 40 jobs saved and 25 additional jobs created


 Homeland Vinyl Products Inc. has purchased a facility at the Phipps Bend Industrial Park that was most recently occupied by Engineering Plastics Corporation (EPC).

Clay Walker, who oversees Hawkins County’s industrial recruitment, said EPC had been phasing out its Phipps Bend operation, and the 40 existing jobs there weren’t going to last.

“The reason that property was for sale was they had been relocating jobs to a newer facility in Alabama,” Walker said. “This is 25 new jobs, but ultimately its 65 jobs because we were going to lose those 40 jobs over the next several months. And, that’s just the beginning.”

Walker added, “They (Homeland Vinyl) have plans for more job growth, but that will come in phases. But, we can’t lose sight of the fact they are going to keep the 40 people who are already employed there and add 25 to that.”

Homeland Vinyl Products is one of the largest manufacturers of vinyl fence, deck and railing systems in the U.S.

Through this expansion, the company will move its manufacturing equipment from Colorado to the Surgoinsville location, which will allow for the addition of new product lines.

The company expects to be operational immediately and will be working with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) for recruitment of skilled positions at the plant once additional positions are available as it expands.

Anyone interested in applying to the TCAT can contact John Burdine at 423-345-4130 or visit the TCAT at 323 Phipps Bend Road, Surgoinsville.

This is the first major announcement for the Phipps Bend Industrial Park since Sullivan County’s NETWORKS industrial recruiting partnership took over Hawkins County’s industrial recruitment.

Hawkins County Industrial Development Board chairman Larry Elkins said he’s very pleased with the momentum he’s seeing with regards to recruitment at Phipps Bend.

“This year began with the announcement of our partnership with NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, then we received word the AT&T was completing broadband installation, and now we have this great announcement of job retention and creation,” Elkins said. “Having met with the leadership of Homeland Vinyl, it is clear we are not only a great match for this company in terms of the building and real estate, but they have a great deal of respect for our community’s value system and prioritization of manufacturing jobs. Homeland Vinyl will be a wonderful fit and employer for our region.”

 This article first appeared in the Kingsport Times-News.



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