Manufacturing creates job growth in Greene County

Manufacturing creates job growth in Greene County

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GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - For the past few years, Greene County has had some of the highest unemployment numbers in the state.

But with a recent surge in manufacturing, things are starting to improve for workers in the county.

“Manufacturing drives the economy in Greene County, agriculture is a big part, tourism is a big part, but 26 percent of people in Greene County work in manufacturing," said President and CEO of Greene County Partnership Tom Ferguson.

Ferguson said over the past 20 years, about 20 manufacturing companies have set up shop in the county.

Bill Converse’s company used to be one of those and now he wants to come back.

“It’s not nearly as cheap to manufacture products in other countries, especially China, as people imagine,” Converse said.

Converse is hoping to move manufacturing of his air purifiers and other products back to Greeneville within the next year.

“We can produce the same products, a better product, with higher quality and we can sell for the same price in this country using all American labor,” he said.

Converse said he hopes to create about 100 jobs when the plant opens.

Ferguson said attracting new companies to the area is important for economic growth.

“Just as important is our local companies. We had eight companies in the last two years that are expanding and some of them are creating 150 to 200 jobs,” he said.

So, how does this area continue to attract growth?

Converse said the East Tennessee workforce is one of a kind.

“We get an eagerness, and commitment, and loyalty that you don’t find in other parts of the country,” Converse said.

In all, Ferguson said the manufacturing sector has added about 1,000 jobs in the area over the past two years.

Copyright WJHL 2014. All rights reserved.
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