Exciting news in the ceramics industry. According to the Nashville Business Journal where this news was released and written by editor, Eric Snyder. Another ceramic tile company is investing millions of dollars into Middle Tennessee.
State officials announced today that China-based Wonderful Group will invest $150 million to build a facility in Lebanon, its first investment in the United States. The facility will create 220 jobs.
“This is great news not only for Lebanon and Wilson County, but for the entire state. Wonderful Group’s commitment represents the largest capital investment made by a Chinese-based project in the state’s history,” Randy Boyd, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a news release. “We are honored that Tennessee will be home to Wonderful Group’s first manufacturing facility in the country, and I look forward to building a strong relationship with the company in the years to come.”
The 500,000-square-foot plant will be located in Wilson County’s Cherry Farm industrial site. With construction underway, it is expected to be operational in late 2016.
The region has won a number of ceramic tile facilities in recent years. In April 2014, Tecnotiles Inc., an Italian tile-finishing firm, announced a $3 million investment to launch its U.S. operations in Lebanon. In March 2014, Mohawk Industries announced a $180 million facility for Dickson County.
The following are excerpts from today’s news release:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with Wonderful Group officials announced today the company has selected Lebanon as the site of its first U.S. operations.
In an effort to expand its presence in the world market, Wonderful Group will invest $150 million in the Lebanon facility and create 220 new jobs in Wilson County.
“We want to welcome Wonderful Group to Tennessee and thank the company for choosing our state as the location for its first U.S. operations,” Haslam said. “Tennessee competes on a global level and when a company decides to expand its business here it speaks volumes to our business-friendly environment and skilled workforce. Companies can choose to do business anywhere in the world, and today’s announcement is another step toward making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“We are pleased and proud to invest in the city of Lebanon and Middle Tennessee,” Wonderful Group CEO Jianping Huang said. “With our U.S. based management team, we will expand our broad existing manufacturing footprint internationally to produce high quality porcelain tile. We appreciate the support received from the state, county and city and look forward to bringing more jobs in the ceramic tile industry to Tennessee.”
“On behalf of the citizens of Lebanon, it is my privilege to welcome Wonderful Group to our city,” Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said. “We are very pleased that they have chosen Lebanon as their U.S. production facility. We believe that this is further confirmation of Lebanon’s progressive and growing city which offers opportunities for their success and future growth.”
“It is an exciting time when Wilson County has the opportunity to welcome such an internationally known leader in the tile industry to our community,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said. “Our county works hard to bring quality investments and employment opportunities to our citizens and we are blessed to have this opportunity today. I want to thank Wonderful Group along with our local, state and regional partners that made this happen.”
“I welcome Wonderful Group to the community. Their decision is further confirmation of the many economic and lifestyle advantages of the community,” G. C. Hixson, executive director of the Joint Economic Development Agency, said. “This announcement would not have been possible without the work of our economic partners which include the Wilson County Commission, the city of Lebanon, the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority.”
“TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation congratulate Wonderful Group on its plans to locate and create more than 200 new jobs in Lebanon,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Wilson County, city of Lebanon and Wilson County officials to facilitate Wonderful Group’s location decision.”