Train company expansion to bring 200 jobs to Knoxville

Train company expansion to bring 200 jobs to Knoxville

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KLW says it will be investing $6.1 million into the facility, purchasing eight acres and two buildings adjacent to its 300 W. Quincy Avenue shop in North Knoxville. KLW says it will be investing $6.1 million into the facility, purchasing eight acres and two buildings adjacent to its 300 W. Quincy Avenue shop in North Knoxville.
The company is planning to build 100 new locomotives per year. To build all these new trains, many new employees are needed. The company is planning to build 100 new locomotives per year. To build all these new trains, many new employees are needed.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Knoxville Locomotive Works officials announced Thursday the company will build an assembly and fabrication plant in Knoxville expected to create 203 jobs over the next three years.

KLW says it will be investing $6.1 million into the facility, purchasing eight acres and two buildings adjacent to its 300 W. Quincy Avenue shop in North Knoxville. The company will also renovate its current facility by extending the assembly line and installing indoor railroad tracks and new overhead cranes.

"KLW is making the first locomotives built in Tennessee," KLW Chairman Pete Claussen said in a prepared release. "Our competitively priced engines are environmentally advanced, fuel efficient, high productivity machines that use advanced diesel engine technology. We hope and anticipate that they will become well-established in the marketplace."

Recent EPA mandates require all termed-out locomotives be replaced by new engines to meet updated emission standards. In response to the requirements, KLW designed and engineered a patented gear box and materials process to assemble rebuilt locomotives using new and used parts that exceed EPA standards. KLW will assemble and sell both kits and rebuilt locomotives to its domestic and international customers.

According to KLW's General Counsel Greg Hall, the company is planning to build 100 new locomotives per year. To build all these new trains, many new employees are needed.

"We need engineers. We need electricians, welders, sales force, it's going to be a pretty big operation," said Hall.

Line jobs and administrative jobs will also be created. The average hourly wage for many employees will be $22. Hall says the owner of the company always tries to hire locally.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero says one incentive for the company to expand in Knoxville is due to the quality workforce.

"The workers who will be employed here are skilled workers and Mr. Claussen and his business knows he can find the workforce right here in Knoxville," said Mayor Rogero.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says there are many benefits to starting and expanding a business in Knox County.

"Tennessee is a right to work state. We are a low tax state and I think it's attractive for businesses to come here and for families to move to our community," said Mayor Burchett.

KLW will begin accepting applications in January 2014. Interested applicants can send their resumes to KLW General Manager Tom German at P.O. Box 2408, Knoxville, TN 37901-2408.

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