(WBIR – MARYVILLE) Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday morning that Advanced Munitions International (AMI) will invest $553 million to build a new manufacturing facility in Alcoa's Partnership Park.

Haslam said the new facility will create 605 new jobs.

"This is an industry leader creating jobs that require a highly skilled workforce as we continue toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs," Haslam said.

Related: Two big announcements expected in Blount County on Tuesday

AMI is known in the firearms industry for its HPR Ammunition brand, a specially formulated ammunition that employs proprietary technology. The company supplies ammunition to the military, law enforcement and civilian markets.

"We are looking forward to a long relationship with Tennessee and to working with our new neighbors." AMI founder Jim Antich said. 

The company expects to break ground on the 235-acre site this spring and to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. It is unique in that it is not just manufacturing, but will also house research and development, state officials said.

"Tennessee has a long history of manufacturing excellence that fits perfectly with AMI's needs," Tennessee's Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said.

AMI was originally planning on moving to Austin, Texas, before meeting with the National Rifle Association in Nashville. Then, said Commissioner Boyd, local businesses helped seal the deal.

"One of our best references is our existing partners," Boyd said. "I think Beretta made the introduction, and then afterward Cirrus also recommended us, so some of the existing businesses that we already have are our best sales people.

The Alcoa facility will hire primarily chemists and engineers with backgrounds in metallurgy, engineering, physics and energetics technology.