Goodman Manufacturing plans to add 200 jobs in Dayton, Tenn.

Goodman Manufacturing plans to add 200 jobs in Dayton, Tenn.

May 1st, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local Regional News

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ABOUT GOODMAN GLOBAL GROUP

Founded: 1975

Headquarters: Houston

Employees: 4,466

Products: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment and related products for residential and light commercial use. Products marketed under the Goodman, Amana, and Quietflex brand names

Source: Company, Businessweek

John Payne is the the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council's executive director.

Bob Vincent

Rhea County's second-largest manufacturer is getting even bigger as Goodman Manufacturing plans to add 200 jobs.

The air conditioning and heating equipment maker in Dayton, Tenn., cited higher demand for plowing about $2 million more into its plant and pushing its workforce to about 850, officials said Tuesday.

"This is a good, solid local company," said John Payne, the Rhea County Economic and Tourism Council's executive director.

The company will invest in equipment to make the residential and light commercial products it sells, he said.

Dave Swift, chief executive of Houston, Texas-based parent Goodman Global Group Inc., said in a statement the Dayton renovation and expansion is a result of increased product demand.

"This facility has also developed and designed several innovative products that have supported the overall growth of the company," he said.

The move by Goodman comes as the U.S. housing market recovers. Buoyed by near record low mortgage rates, the housing sector is expected to be a source of strength for the economy in 2013.

Last year, Goodman Global Group was acquired for $3.7 billion by Daikin Industries Ltd., a Fortune 1000 company based in Osaka, Japan, with more than 49,000 employees worldwide. Daikin is the world's largest air conditioning maker.

The Goodman jobs announcement is the second major investment by a Rhea County company in the past five months.

Last December, officials at Dayton auto supplier International Automotive Components said it was investing $7.7 million into its facility.

That company, which makes door and instrument panels and overhead systems, was to add 50 jobs and boost its plant staff to just under 300, according to IAC.

Dayton Mayor Bob Vincent said the city wants new industry. But expanding local manufacturers is a key for creating jobs, he said.

Payne said Goodman has been up to the 800 and 900 worker range before.

"They've gone up and down," he said, adding that it has used temporary or contract workers. Payne said he believed the new workers will be permanent Goodman employees added to the payroll.

Payne said only La-Z-Boy has more employees among manufacturers in Rhea County. It has 1,300 workers at its production facilities.

The planned job additions from Goodman and IAC are welcome news in Rhea County, which had the highest unemployment rate among counties in Southeast Tennessee during March at 11.5 percent.

Bill Hagerty, ECD commissioner, said Goodman Manufacturing exemplifies the type of growth advanced manufacturing companies can experience when taking advantage of Tennessee's business-friendly environment.

Goodman, which also has a Fayetteville, Tenn., plant, is receiving state employee training incentives, Payne said.