Primex adding jobs with $5.4 million expansion of Jasper, Tennessee, plant

In the third expansion of its facility over the past three decades, the full scope plastics manufacturer Primex is expanding its production plant and adding a new research and development center this summer.

The $5.4 million expansion will add another 25,000 square feet to the plant on Commerce Drive in Jasper, Tennessee, and add 28 more jobs, primarily in the new R&D center. Primex, which acquired the former O'Neil Color in the 1980s, will grow the plant staff to about 130 employees with its latest addition.

"This expansion will allow us to further develop innovative products for our customers and will provide us a state-of-the-art research center where we can work to develop sustainable plastic solutions," said Doug Borgsdorf, business unit director, Primex Color, Compounding & Additives. "We see the market shifting and our customers are always looking for us to be innovators."

The plant currently makes primarily thermoplastic elastomers for compounds and concentrates used to make color for plastics in an array of industries. The plant makes similar products to another Primex plant in Garfield, New Jersey.

"The expansion is necessary because we feel we need to be moving to the bio-based resin material, and we needed a really good R&D center to strengthen our technology advancements in material science," Borgsdorf said in a telephone interview Thursday.

The company considered expansions at both its Tennessee and New Jersey plants, but Borgsdorf said "the Tennessee people and government made our decision easy to pick this location to put our technology hub."

Gov. Bill Lee, who announced the plant expansion Thursday, said in a statement that "Tennessee's strong business climate and skilled workforce make our state the ideal location for companies like Primex to thrive."

Borgsdorf said the company has already hired some of the new workers for the R&D center "and we're in a deep recruiting process right now to hire more workers."

"Even though the economy is a little slow right now, we know it will rebound pretty quickly," he said.

A division of Primex Plastics Corp., Primex Color, Compounding & Additives Corp. develops and manufactures custom color concentrates for plastics to be used in commercial, medical or food grade applications.

"It is great to have 28 new jobs coming to Marion County," Marion County Mayor David Jackson said in a statement Thursday. "The company provides good paying jobs and it cares about its employees."

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.