ABB expanding Thomas & Betts plant, adding 70 jobs in Athens, Tennessee

ABB expanding Thomas & Betts plant, adding 70 jobs in Athens, Tennessee

August 6th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

This story was updated Aug. 6, 2018, at 5:44 p.m. with more information.

Five years after acquiring the electrical supply firm Thomas & Betts, the global industrial giant ABB is expanding its Thomas & Betts plant in Athens, Tennessee and adding 70 more employees.

ABB announced Monday it will add 60,000 square feet to the 53-year-old Thomas & Betts facility on Dennis Street in Athens. The addition to the 300-employee plant will boost production for the 21 product lines made by the company in Athens, consisting of steel boxes and covers, framing channel accessories, wiring duct and flexible conduit sold under the brand names Steel City, Kindorf, Superstrut, Carlon, Ty-Duct, Ty-Wrap, PMA and EFab.

"This latest round of investment shows the strength of the relationship that we have enjoyed since 1965," Athens Mayor Chuck Burris said Monday. "Today's announcement of new jobs is a testament to the economic vitality of the Friendly City and strength of the quality products that ABB manufactures here."

ABB, which acquired the former Combustion Engineering operations in Chattanooga in 1990 and Thomas & Betts in 2012, expects the expansion to be completed by the end of 2019.

"We've enjoyed a long, successful partnership with the Athens community," ABB spokesowman Melissa London said Monday. "When we looked to expand, we considered land availability, as well as the historical plant performance on service, quality and cost."

ABB's Electrification Products division is headquartered in Memphis. ABB's recent acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions grew ABB's Tennessee operations to 2,425 employees across Memphis, Portland, Athens, Alamo, Rogersville and now Selmer and Morristown.

"ABB has a significant presence across Tennessee, employing thousands of residents," Bob Rolfe, commissioner for Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a statement Monday. "This expansion is yet another sign that Tennessee is a place where employers can grow, invest and create job opportunities for our residents."

With over 24,000 employees in more than 100 communities, ABB is a leader in the industrial technology revolution in the United States. The company's U.S. operations centers on robotics, power grids, industrial automation and electrification products.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.