A Hawthorne, Calif.,-based seat maker plans to bring its Chinese manufacturing back to the United States at a $39.5 million plant to be built in East Tennessee
The seat manufacturer known as 9to5 Seating announced today it will build its plant in Union City, Tenn., and create 510 new jobs over the next five years in Obion County.
Darius Mir, CEO of 9to5 Seating, said "9to5 the Union City site was picked because of its central location, available workforce and assistance from state and local governments.
"We are determined to not only bring back manufacturing to the United States, but to reverse a 30-year trend by exporting our high quality USA made products competitively to Asia and other countries around the world," Mir said.
Bill Hagerty, commission of Economic and Community Development in Tennessee, said such "reshoring" of jobs to the U.S. is growing as manufacturers recognize the shipping, labor and infrastructure advantages in states like Tennessee as well as the greater protection of intellectual properties in the United States.
"Tennessee's manufacturing competitiveness has a distinct advantage in the global arena as companies continue to recognize the benefit of our ideal central location, ability to build and support infrastructure and superb business climate," Hagerty said.
Seat production in Union City is scheduled to begin in early 2014, at which time the company will introduce a newly developed product line designed for the retail market under the brand name of Made in America (MIA) Seating.
"We have worked since the spring with 9to5 Seating. They are a good company with good jobs that the people of our community will embrace," Union City Mayor Terry Hailey said.
Founded in 1982, 9to5 Seating is a vertically integrated manufacturer, specializing in the design and production of ergonomic office seats.