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Roane County's economic development agency, Roane Alliance, knew 2013 was a good year. After all, they worked to bring new industry to the county.

But it wasn't until they started researching numbers for their annual report that they discovered 2013 was a record breaking year.

"We're talking about $150 million in terms of investment opening their doors," said Roane Alliance President and CEO Leslie Henderson.

Monday, 10News learned about Blue Bell Creameries and Sauter Timber doubling the size of their Roane County facilities and adding dozens of new jobs.

The Blue Bell project will expand the facility at the Roane Regional Business and Technology Park from 1,300 square feet to more than 12,000. The company also plans to add 10 new jobs.

Sauter Timber will expand their existing facility and bring in 15 new jobs.

In 2013, Roane County saw many companies open new facilities including: Roane Medical Center, ORNL's Carbon Fiber manufacturing plant, Volkswagen Distribution Center, and Santek Waste Services.

But they also saw expansions to established facilities such as: Proton Power and the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill.

Roane Alliance said businesses are taking notice because of their proximity to the interstate and diverse workforce.

Henderson said Roane County natives supply about two thirds of the employees with the other third are from outside the county.

They are hoping that this momentum from 2013 will carry them through the new year and make 2014 another year for the record books.

"We feel like the increased publicity we got from the Volkswagen announcement has put us on the map for maybe a lot of people that hadn't thought of Roane County before," Henderson said.

Roane Alliance said it is currently trying to recruit more auto parts manufacturers.

For more information about who is hiring and how to apply, contact the Roane Alliance at 865-376-5572 or visit their website.

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