Motlow State Opens Robotics Center

Motlow State Community College held a grand opening Friday for its new Automation & Robotics Training Center in McMinnville.

The grand opening was an invitation-only event for business and industry leaders. An open house will be held May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the public to get a first-hand look at the ARTC. The 12,500-square-feet facility is located on 4.5 acres of land, donated by the Warren County Commission, adjacent to the Motlow State and Tennessee College of Applied Technology campus.

"At the ARTC our short-term objective is to provide a highly skilled work force that is second-to-none in robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing systems," said Terri Bryson, Motlow's vice president for workforce innovation. "This will attract new and expanding businesses into our region. Ultimately, our long-term mission is to create new employment opportunities for our students by literally growing the number and quality of jobs available to them."

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BASF goes 25 years without worker injury

BASF's Chattanooga plant on Amnicola Highway recently achieved 25 years with zero lost-time injuries, the longest running record for time without a lost time injury among the more than 400 members in the manufacturing sector of the Tennessee Safety and Health Council.

"We believe that BASF's commitment to safety is exemplified by their record of 2.5 million work hours without a lost time injury," said Gina Jones, executive director of the Tennessee Safety and Health Council.

Read the full release here>>

World's largest 3-D printer used to print cars in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - 3-D printers appear to be the future of the automotive industry at Local Motors. 

"The future is here - it's digital manufacturing of mass-produced vehicles,” says Dr. Maximillian Heres of Local Motors. 

Beginning this summer, Knox County will officially join the auto making family, but not in the traditional sense.

“We're revolutionizing the mobility industry with a 3-D printed autonomous shuttle.. The Olli 2.0,” Heres said. 

3-D printing is a technique perfected after years of research.

Gov. Bill Lee proposes lottery-funded plan to boost vocational, tech training for Tennessee high school students

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee's first legislative proposal calls for generating more public-private partnerships for his goal to create more vocational and technical training opportunities for Tennessee high school students.

And he's proposing to use Tennessee Education Lottery revenues to pay for it.

The new governor on Tuesday unveiled his proposal, dubbed the "Governor's Investment in Vocational Education," or GIVE, program. It seeks to boost access for high school students interested in dual-enrollment technical courses offered by state community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs).

Lee, a businessman who owns a construction and building services company, campaigned for office last year pledging to boost career and technical training for high school students who may have little interest in attending four-year universities and colleges.

"We believe GIVE is a key step for the future of our kids and ensuring we can fill the jobs of tomorrow," Lee said in a statement. Click here to read the full story>>

General Motors to invest $22M more in Tennessee facility

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) - General Motors says it plans to invest another $22 million in its Tennessee manufacturing facility to build more engines.
The automotive manufacturer made the announcement Thursday about the growth at the Spring Hill facility.
The company says the investment will let the plant build 6.2-liter V8 engines with GM's dynamic fuel management technology, which uses 17 cylinder patterns to optimize performance.
GM is also finishing a $300 million investment at Spring Hill that will bring more than 200 new jobs to produce the new Cadillac XT6.
The facility opened in 1990 and employs about 3,800 people. GM says it has invested more than $2 billion at the complex since 2010.

How Manufacturers Will Tackle the Talent Shortage in 2019

Industry Week: The U.S. manufacturing industry has experienced tremendous net growth over the past couple of decades. While that’s great news for the industry, manufacturers now face a brutal workforce shortage that threatens to impede continued growth.

 In fact, according to research conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, over the next ten years, manufacturers will likely need to add 4.6 million manufacturing jobs — 2.4 million of which may go unfilled. It’s already happening. Today, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs remain vacant in the United States. 

Why such a dire talent shortage in US manufacturing? Find out more here>>

Plastics & Chemicals: World-Class Cluster In Northeastern Tennessee

It is not an exaggeration to say that the nation’s most dynamic plastics/chemicals and advanced materials cluster can be found in Northeastern Tennessee; the center of this cluster is located in Sullivan County, TN and its communities of Bluff City, Bristol and Kingsport.

Partnership Park II is a publicly owned 223-acre industrial Business Park located adjacent to Highway 394 in Bristol, TN. Parcels ranging from five to 50 acres are available at Partnership Park. (Image: map,

Sullivan County’s regional cluster includes the world headquarters of industry giant Eastman Chemicals. Eastman made a $1.6 billion investment in 2013 at its Kingsport, TN facility, which now employs more than 7,300.

The attraction of manufacturing in a cluster that can provide the raw materials and chemical feedstocks you need has brought an impressive array of specialty manufacturers to the Sullivan County region. Domtar Corp. makes high-end sheet rolled paper in Sullivan County; BAE has an explosives manufacturing plant in the county. The regional cluster as a whole exports $15 billion of manufactured product per year (the majority of which is in the chemical/plastics industry).

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Manufacturer to Invest $6.4m in Tennessee, Create 80 Jobs

LAWRENCEBURG, TENN. (AP) — A Canadian company has announced that it will set up its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Tennessee, an investment of $6.4 million expected to create 80 jobs.

State economic development officials and Craig Manufacturing Ltd. announced plans Friday for a new Lawrenceburg facility slated to be up and running in the second quarter of 2019.

Craig Manufacturing was founded in 1946 and produces steel attachments for heavy construction, forestry, mining, energy and utility equipment. The company's headquarters are in New Brunswick, Canada.

The company will operate out of the 60,000-square-foot Spec building in Team Lawrence Commerce Park. It will add about 7,500 square feet of office space for its U.S. corporate offices.

M&Ms has a new flavor and it'll only be made in Cleveland, Tennessee

A new line of M&Ms will hit store shelves across the country next year, and a new flavor will be made exclusively at the Mars Wrigley Confectionery factory in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Three U.S. factories make M&Ms, but the Cleveland plant makes the widest variety, Site Director Mack Phillips said.

That made it a natural for the new flavor’s production, he said.

“We are actually the biggest M&M plant in the world,” Phillips said.

So, what's new flavor? Click here to find out>>