Ceramica Del Conca will set up operations at Sugarlimb Industrial Park in Loudon.
The next time you buy floor tile at the local big box hardware store, there's a possibility it was made here in East Tennessee.
An Italian floor tile manufacturer will be bringing almost 200 jobs and a $70 million investment to Loudon, TN.
Ceramica Del Conca plans to locate its first U.S. base of operations and headquarters in the Sugarlimb Industrial Park.
"They like this location because of its closeness to the raw material supplies as well as to the interstate systems," said Kathy Knight, assistant director for Loudon County Economic Development Agency.
The facilities will include a 320,000 feet of manufacturing, research, showroom space, and administrative space covering 30-acres.
The anticipated 178 employees will fill managerial, technical, engineering, administrative, production and distribution positions. The expected average hourly wage is $17 plus benefits.
There will be two phases of construction.
Construction will begin in early 2013. The company plans to pour $50 million into Phase One which they hope to have completed by December 2013. This phase will include 100 jobs.
Production will begin in early 2014.
If things go well, Phase Two will happen. Phase Two involves an additional $20 million and 78 full-time jobs.
New jobs could help business
Historic Downtown Loudon could benefit from the new company.
"We have plenty of traffic we just need some business here to come make people shop more," said Ann Shaver, owner of Annabell's Emporium & Cafe.
"You'll see our customer base is a combination of professional business people... lawyer, insurance guy, former mayor, bankers, but we also have a lot of construction workers and factory workers," said Harold Howard, with Mark's Downtown Diner.
He went on to say, "So more jobs is good for everything in downtown Loudon."
178 new jobs could help those looking for work after Yale Locks & Hardware closes next year.
Layoffs began in August.
"You know plants are closing down and at Yale they found out a year ago that they were moving the plant and had an opportunity to move but they're from here so they want to stay close to home and still work and provide for their families," said Eddie Browder, a Loudon resident.
Those interested in working for the company can apply in the fall.