Eastman Chemical Investing 16 Billion in Tennessee Plant

Eastman Chemical Investing $1.6 Billion in Tennessee Plant

May 29, 2013
The company will add 300 new jobs over the next seven years

Eastman Chemical Co, a specialty chemical products company serving markets such as adhesives, coatings, electronics and medical, today announced a major expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Tennessee company.

Called Project Inspire, Eastman will invest $1.6 billion in its Kingsport site and add 300 new jobs during the next seven years. 

Eastman is headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn and has approximately 7,000 employees – more than half of its total number of employees worldwide – in Northeast Tennessee, making it the region’s largest employer. Globally the company employs 13,500.

"This represents a landmark capital investment that will modernize and expand our largest manufacturing site and corporate campus here in Kingsport,” said Eastman CEO Jim Rogers. "This multi-year project will culminate in Eastman’s 100th anniversary in 2020. I can think of no better way to honor our long-term commitment to this site and surrounding community than through this very significant investment in our future.”

The investment will include safety and environmental projects, increased warehouse capacity, building renovations and expansion of its corporate campus.

The state will provide funding to support the corporate campus expansion, road infrastructure improvements for the project, and a grant to meet advanced manufacturing training needs for the company through the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing located in Kingsport.

“I want to thank Eastman and its employees for all of the incredible work they do that has brought us here today,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. “For nearly 100 years, Eastman has been crucial to the state’s economy, growing into a global brand, and today’s announcement means they will continue to grow right here where they started.”

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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