Northwest Georgia officials were as thrilled as most Chattanoogans with the news Tuesday that Volkswagen had selected the Tennessee site for its North America vehicle assembly plant.
Here is what a few had to say:
“couldn’t come at a better time”
Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, and executive director of the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority.
“Let me tell you, we are very excited for Chattanooga and, in fact, for the entire Southeast Tennessee/North Georgia region. This is a tremendous benefit for all of us, and we congratulate Chattanooga’s effort in obtaining the VW plant.
“With the mortgage issue and building industry, the carpet industry and the apparel industry all struggling recently, this will be a tremendous boost for the economy of the region, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
“We look forward to working closely with Chattanooga’s effort in assisting them, as well as being a part of the activities involved. Currently, Northwest Georgia is 42 percent of the Chattanooga work force, and you know this will definitely be beneficial to us. Whether anything happens in Georgia or not, people here will be working there. ... This is just a great opportunity for all of us.”
new jobs for walker
Stacy Mauer, president of the Walker County Chamber of Commerce
“VW’s decision to locate in Chattanooga is great news for the entire region, including Walker County.
In addition to the direct job creation, I’m hoping for ancillary job creation in the region as well, which could lead to high-quality jobs for Walker County citizens.
Walker County already has several industries in the automotive field, so this could potentially mean increased business for them. This is a great victory, not just for Chattanooga, but for the whole region.”
sending workers north
Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell
“I couldn’t be happier. Part of their work force will be from Walker County.
“Not only can the county provide a work force, there are recently closed manufacturing plants and open areas for industrial development that could provide workplaces for suppliers for the auto manufacturer.
“I think it will help the county.”
a college stands ready
Don Foley, Northwestern Technical College spokesman
“As a college which trains the work force of the Tennessee Valley, we are looking forward to the opportunity to partner with VW and provide them with the quality of worker with which they have found world-wide success for years.”
Compiled by staff writers Chloé Morrison and Mike O’Neal.