Ceramica Del Conca will build its first North American manufacturing facility in Loudon, the company announced recently.

The $70 million investment by the Italian ceramic floor tile manufacturer, based in San Clemente, Emilia-Romagna, will create 178 new manufacturing jobs in Loudon County, Tennessee.

The new 320,000 square-foot facility will serve as Del Conca's base of operations, housing manufacturing, research, and administrative capabilities as well as a showroom.

"Loudon is geographically located close to the main U.S. highways and in close proximity to our sources of raw materials. We have found in Loudon a very cooperative team of people who are working hard in order to help us build a successful business that better serves our U.S. and Canadian customers," said Paolo Mularoni, president of Del Conca USA.

The Italian ceramic tile maker was founded in 1979. Del Conca's porcelain ceramic tiles are exported worldwide for use in both residential and commercial facilities.

Along with establishing a base for U.S. operations, the Loudon facility will allow Del Conca to serve major U.S. customers such as Lowe’s Arizona Tile, Mannington and Tile Shop more effectively.