While Volkswagen’s planned new assembly plant gets the attention, it’s the suppliers to the facility and other businesses which will create almost five times as many jobs, a study shows.
However, state officials said Friday they did not mandate that Volkswagen compel a certain number of suppliers to locate in Tennessee.
“This is a region that has to be looked at,” said Matt Kisber, Tennessee’s Economic and Community Development commissioner.
He added that VW has said it plans to locate a number of suppliers adjacent to the $1 billion plant at Enterprise South Industrial Park.
State officials estimate that the 2,000 jobs at the assembly plant will spin off about 9,477 other jobs.
Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey said a number of Tennesseans work in North Georgia and vice versa.
A University of Tennessee study projects the VW plant and other businesses will create $55 million in new tax revenue annually.
“It is the regional concept,” he said. Mr. Ramsey added, Hamilton County will aggressively pursue suppliers and recently talked with a prospect that could bring up to 700 jobs.
“The plant gives us an advantage,” he said.
Mr. Kisber said tier one suppliers will need to be in close proximity to the plant, which is slated to start making cars by early 2011.
He said his office, which recruits industry to Tennessee, is busier working potential projects than anytime in the 5 1/2 years in which he has held his post despite the slow economy.
William Fox, who directs the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said there is a “much higher supplier effect” with assembly plants than other automotive activity.
He said there could be 2,000 supplier jobs in close proximity to the plant.
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said the plant will be VW’s North American headquarters for manufacturing.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...