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Old 05-29-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, Tn
973 posts, read 1,299,893 times
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I am curious as to what it is.


KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) - Eastman Chemical Company appears poised to make a major announcement about the future of the company. News Channel 11 will carry the announcement live on at 10 a.m. and on WJHL.com.

The Kingsport-based chemical company called a news conference at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday for what it's describing only as "a joint economic development announcement" with the State of Tennessee.
The guest list indicates the announcement is significant.


Tuesday afternoon, Eastman spokesman Tracy Kilgore confirmed News Channel 11 Governor Bill Haslam will join Eastman Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers at the news conference. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker also are expected to attend.


Kilgore wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the announcement.


News Channel 11 contacted Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips. He said he's signed a confidentiality agreement related to the announcement, but said it will be good economic news for "the entire Tri-Cities Region."


Various local and state lawmakers told News Channel 11 there will be a meeting prior to the 10 a.m. news conference at which time they will be briefed on the nature of Eastman's announcement.


The news conference will take place at the MeadowView Marriott Executive Conference Center in Kingsport.

Watch here ... WATCH LIVE @ 10am.: Eastman to make big announcement - WJHL-TV: News: Weather, and Sports for Johnson City, TN
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Jonesborough, TN
690 posts, read 1,273,734 times
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300 new jobs, in addition to 500-1000 construction jobs, over 1 billion dollar investment into the city. Very good news!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, Tn
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Just got done watching the coverage. Eastmans new thing, Project Inspire. They will spend $1.6 Billion over 7 years in Kingsport. They kept talking about Office Space and a Office Building. Stated they will add 300 new jobs. I do wonder in what area the jobs will be. Sounds like they will just be expanding Administratively. No mention of how soon this project will kick off or when the new jobs will arrive.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, Tn
973 posts, read 1,299,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchometeam View Post
300 new jobs, in addition to 500-1000 construction jobs, over 1 billion dollar investment into the city. Very good news!
I missed the construction part. Watched on wjhl back channel and it has a habit of refreshing itself and I miss stuff.

Maybe there is a job for me in there after all.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,697 posts, read 6,148,495 times
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KINGSPORT, Tenn., May 29, 2013 – Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today announced a major economic development project referred to as Project Inspire. As part of this project, over the next seven years, Eastman will invest $1.6 billion in its Kingsport site and add 300 new jobs in Tennessee. This comprehensive effort will enable the company to invest in, among other things, new growth opportunities, safety and environmental projects, increased warehouse capacity, building renovations and expansion of its corporate campus.

"This represents a landmark capital investment that will modernize and expand our largest manufacturing site and corporate campus here in Kingsport,” said Rogers. "This multi-year project will culminate in Eastman’s 100th anniversary in 2020. I can think of no better way to honor our long-term commitment to this site and surrounding community than through this very significant investment in our future.”

The state will provide funding to support the corporate campus expansion, road infrastructure improvements for the project, and a grant to meet advanced manufacturing training needs for the company through the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing located in Kingsport.

Eastman and Governor Haslam Announce Major Economic Development Investment
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, Tn
973 posts, read 1,299,893 times
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"This multi-year project will culminate in Eastman’s 100th anniversary in 2020."

Doing the math and subtracting 7 year, this project should start this year then.I need to keep my eyes open for what Contractors they will be using. They will need Structural Welders I believe.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,573 posts, read 49,170,673 times
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I can't figure out what Project Inspire truly entails but it is very good news!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
1,283 posts, read 2,018,206 times
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Great news! My sister lives in Kingsport. I used to live there as well.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,352 posts, read 21,254,383 times
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I'm glad to see the investment take place. This is the type of investment the Tri-Cities, and especially Kingsport, needs to get on the right track. I greatly prefer this news over the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's deas, but I'd still like to see more details.

The construction jobs, while better than nothing, are very transient and temporary. Also, this $1.6B investment is spread over seven years. Circumstances can change drastically over seven years - the economy could boom, it could bust, there could be some sort of disruptive factor in the chemicals business, etc. While I understand that such big plans have to be spread out, I'm hesitant to guarantee something like this can go to completion as planned without interruption. That opinion isn't something specific to Eastman or to Kingsport - it's just a statement of delays and changes that big entities face as they take on large, lengthy projects.

According to the announcement, 300 jobs will be created in TN, but that doesn't say whether or not the jobs are in Kingsport or whether they are full time Eastman positions, or positions filled by a third party agency. If Eastman has another TN site and fills 100/300 positions there, that leaves 200 jobs for Kingsport. If 75% of those are filled by a temporary agency, that leaves 50 new FTEs at Eastman. Should Eastman have other restructuring priorities and layoffs planned, it is possible to see a net loss of jobs while 300 "new employees" are brought on. If these jobs are all positions requiring PhD level candidates, and none of those programs are taught in the area, Eastman will have to try and lure in outside candidates, which is not that beneficial for true locals either.

A good friend of mine works at a local contracting firm that has absorbed most of Eastman's IT business. According to him, there are very few IT employees actually employed by Eastman, and the only people remaining are a handful of people critical to factory floor production and information security. Infrastructure and software development have been outsourced to this third party, likely at lower wages and a reduction in benefits compared to what Eastman would have offered. If the jobs go to Kelly Services, @work personnel, Brock, etc, that's better than nothing, but still not as good as the headline "300 new jobs at Eastman" would lead you to believe.

Still, even with all my concerns, this is better news than the Tri-Cities has gotten in a long time. It beats another call center, restaurant, retailer, or other known low wage, low value employment. If anything, I assumed Eastman would begin divesting from the Kingsport site, with an eventual eye on relocating the headquarters. It looks like I was wrong in that belief.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:07 AM
 
746 posts, read 1,583,362 times
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Eastman needs some additional office space to accommodate Solutia employees that will be moved from St Louis. In addition, Eastman would probably like to consolidate some of the Solutia plants - maybe even moving some of the operations here as there are buildings and processes that can be retrofit to accommodate Solutia product manufacturing. The coal burning steam/electrical generating plant will be partially converted to nat gas burning, so that can be part of the expenditures. (The coal gasification plant is a different facility). There has also been talk of a rather significant new plant would treat decking wood and prevent long term rot. With the low price of natural gas and even lower price of basic chemicals now in the US (because of the nat gas revolution - associated nat gas liguids like ethane, propane, butane are very cheap making the US - those building blocks now make the US practically the cheapest place in the world to make chemicals) - chemical manufacturing jobs will be created not shipped overseas but the entire process becomes more automated all the time. China's chemical industry may end up broke depending on what they are making. Houston is absolutely booming because of all the new chemical process facilities being built there.

Eastman is not divesting the Kingsport site, as it is a huge fraction of the corporation. It's location in Kingsport also has a significant affect on its culture, as leadership has to treat their people with much more civility than they would for example in Houston or Philadelphia simply because they see each other everywhere they go. Having the corporate headquarters in Kingsport also attracts a whole different set of leaders that don't desire big city lights but would rather be part of a corporate building process. Kingsport is so much cheaper than some of the other chemical hubs (Houston, Ohio Valley) with a more willing and less militant work force.

The demolition of the large old textile mill building across from Eastman this past winter in my view was a sign that Eastman would build something there (either warehouses or offices, not process plants). Also, could easily see Eastman taking over the production area of the closed AGC glass plant and converting it to other manufacturing. (The AGC corporate building still houses some of their staff). It may not be totally out of the question that Eastman could build some office buildings out by Meadowview.

Would add that IT has for years been outsourced by almost all corporations. The lower tech part of IT like call centers for employees and setting up computers and troubleshooting is often with temp agencies locally, but Eastman pays big bucks to consulting firms like IBM and HP's consulting arm to manage the direction of their IT and keep it up with the times. Those IT consulting firms pay big $'s to their employees, but are most often located in a tech hub thousands of miles away with maybe a few representives locally.

It also must be remembered that every job Eastman adds probably adds 3 local jobs in the community: retail, restaurants, school teachers, nurses etc. If new processes are added to plant, equipment vendors and suppliers often will need a single employee just to service / monitor Eastman's needs. Air Products and Airgas may need to add people. More welders are needed at local shops. More insulation, gaskets, electrical parts, valves, pumps, wire are needed from suppliers. All that takes manpower. The motels near JB Dennis and I-26 are testament largely to Eastman's needs for specialty vendors and specialty workers that are periodically needed by each processing area.

Last edited by fourwinds; 05-30-2013 at 12:22 AM..
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