Woodbridge expansion creates 70 new jobs in Chattanooga

Woodbridge expansion creates 70 new jobs in Chattanooga

October 30th, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Around the Region

Construction takes place on The Woodbridge Group's plant near the Chattanooga Riverwalk in this file photo.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

The Woodbridge Group's new manufacturing plant in Chattanooga will employ 70 full-time workers, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday.

The international automotive supplier is investing $8.5 million to add a new formed plastics facility to the two plants the company already operates in Chattanooga.

The new plant, Woodbridge Formed Plastics, was announced in April, but the company has been working with Hamilton County and city officials for months to nail down what incentives Woodbridge will earn. The final plan goes before the Hamilton County Commission today for review.

The new plant is located in part of the 250,000 square-foot warehouse off Amnicola Highway that formerly housed Roxbury Carpet. The Woodbridge Group leased 100,000 feet square feet and added 6,400 square feet of new construction.

The company supplies equipment to major car manufacturers like Volkswagen and Ford, but doesn't supply the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. And that's a good sign, said J.Ed. Marston, vice president of marketing and communications at the Chamber.

"This is a very good indicator because it is an automotive-related project but it is not specifically to serve Volkswagen," he said. "They have customers in the surrounding Southeast, so this is very good for us as we work to recruit additional suppliers."

The new factory expands Woodbridge's reach in Chattanooga beyond its existing two plants, Woodbridge Foam Fabricating and Woodbridge Foam Partners. The formed plastics division will operate independently.

The plant has already done some hiring and has been running test products, said Steve Hiatt, director of existing business development at the Chamber.

Woodbridge operates 62 facilities in 19 countries and has three facilities similar to the new formed plastics division in Mexico, Canada and France.

Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, applauded Woodbridge's commitment to the region.

"The Woodbridge Group has been a vital part of Hamilton County's business landscape for more than 25 years and now has a thriving global presence in 17 countries," he said in a prepared statement. "With more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers in the state, Tennessee continues to be an excellent choice for growing companies like Woodbridge Formed Plastics."

Contact staff reporter Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com.