Tennessee Manufactures More Than Corvettes, Whiskey, and Great Music
Manufacturing success in Tennessee is no coincidence. They have many benefits to offer manufacturers like a centralized location with eight intersecting highways running through it, which are big assets for the transportation of goods. Another significant benefit is the large amounts of water that serve as a resource for industrial processes. Inside its manufacturing sector, vehicles, food and beverage, and chemicals currently have the biggest impact on Tennessee manufacturing.
Big Investments in Automotive:
In 2015, Business Facilities Magazine awarded Tennessee 1st place for automotive manufacturing power and 1st in the southeast for auto industry employment. Since then, a variety of significant investments have resulted in the creation of auto plants for Nissan, Volkswagen, and General Motors. These big brands make the automotive industry the most important sector in the state. Last year, 6.3% of all US-manufactured cars came from Tennessee. The industry also employed 4% of all Tennessee state workers. Indeed, we can praise the state for the force in the automotive sector, but what makes it a truly successful manufacturing economy is the diversity of products and industries.
Unparalleled Food and Beverage:
Food and beverage manufacturing is also a major strength for Tennessee. Food and beverage exports from Tennessee reach major markets around the world. Tennessee exports now enter the markets of France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, The United Kingdom and amount to more than $1.11 billion in revenue. Whiskey alone accounts for $590 million. But hey, it IS Tennessee whiskey.
The sheer number of food and beverage factories are an indication of their importance to the economy of Tennessee. The state’s Department of Agriculture sites that there are 1,688 registered food and beverage processing manufacturers and warehouses and 148 domestic kitchen permits. Together, they employ about 36,000 workers.
Rapidly Growing Chemicals:
The chemical sector has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. Just three years ago, basic chemicals produced $2.1 billion in revenue. According to the Department of Community and Economic Development, last year it generated a whopping $4.9 billion. Chemicals and plastics not only produce a lot of jobs, about 48 thousand, but they also pay 38% better than the average manufacturing salary. There are more than 700 chemical companies operating in Tennessee today. Among the key brands are American Industrial Partners Inc., Chattem, Inc., and Fujifilm Hunt Chemicals USA.
Forbes listed Tennessee as the 17th best state for doing business with the sixth best economic climate. Their diverse manufacturing scene and well-paying jobs only seem to be contributing to the improving state of Tennessee business. By simply looking at the rise in industry investments over the last few years, everything indicates that Tennessee manufacturing will continue to be an economic force to be reckoned with.
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