MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — 70 new jobs are coming to Hamblen County as OTICS USA plans to invest millions to expand its manufacturing operations in Morristown.

Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and OTICS USA, Inc. officials announced on Thursday that the company plans to invest $147 million in growing its operations in Morristown. According to TNECD, the company intends to expand the OTICS USA facility on Interstate View Drive by 55,000 square feet.

“We are very proud of the fourth expansion of our Morristown facility and excited about our new projects. Our continued growth and expansion are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our team members,” said Charlotte Jennelle, General Manager/Division Head OTICS USA, Inc.

As a result of the expansion, OTICS USA will hire 70 new staff at its U.S. headquarters in Hamblen County. This means OTICS USA will employ nearly 450 people across its two East Tennessee locations in Kodak and Morristown.

“This is wonderful news to start 2023! OTICS USA has been a valuable member of our industrial community since its arrival. The company’s decision to invest more than $100 million and create 70 new jobs is an excellent testimony to OTICS USA’s success and confidence in its future in Morristown,” said Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney.

According to their website, pay for Manufacturing Team Members and Logistics Control Team Members at OTICS USA starts at $17.00 an hour, and pay for Maintenance Technicians- starts at $22.01 an hour.

“Tennessee’s highly skilled workforce and unmatched business climate facilitate new growth and expansion for the companies that call Tennessee home. I thank OTICS USA for its commitment to job creation and look forward to the new opportunities that these 70 new jobs will bring to the Morristown community,” said Lee.

OTCIS USA makes parts for major automotive corporations. It was founded in 2001 as a subsidiary of OTICS Corporation, which is based in Japan. The installation of additional space will allow the company to support new growth and increased fuel pipe production capacities.

“OTICS USA’s decision to expand its Morristown operation is a vote of confidence for our business climate and our workforce. I appreciate the company’s willingness to invest more in our community and its people. I’m confident that the expansion will pay dividends for the company,” said Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain.

Since 2018, around 1,200 job commitments and about $248 million in capital investments have been made as a result of TNECD’s support of roughly 10 economic development projects in Hamblen County.