Leaders of manufacturing company BMT went public this month with their plan to invest in Campbell County, Tennessee, manufacturing. In total, the company will invest $3.7 million in the county and create 148 new jobs. This move is sure to make an impact on the residents of Campbell County as well as local manufacturing.
Why Tennessee, BMT?
BMT — which stands for Better Made Trailers — is a relatively young company, having just opened its doors in 2016, that produces motorcycle, utility, and cargo trailers. Since then, BMT manufacturing has grown in its local market and the broader trailer industry, which has required the company to expand operations.
While this area of Tennessee might not be a typical choice for modern manufacturing investments, Campbell County Mayor E. L. Morton outlined BMT’s strategy in a press release, saying, “BMT is an innovative new business model that is taking market share in the trailer industry through well positioned and equipped production sites and creative workforce development that is not only profitable, but it has a community service heart.”
A new beginning
BMT’s investment will be divided into two locations. The company will expand its current operation in Jacksboro, Tennessee, by adding 48 jobs. In addition, a new site scheduled to open in nearby Jellico will create an additional 100 new jobs for the county. Hiring is scheduled to begin in September or October with the new facility set to open in late 2018.
Last year, BMT leaders founded the non-profit group A New Beginning “To provide a compassionate job and training program for previously incarcerated Campbell County citizens who are willing to take responsibility for themselves, teaching them to make viable choices while striving for success in all aspects of their lives.”
Impact on manufacturing
In addition to these new employees, BMT’s expansion is sure to impact Tennessee manufacturing on a large scale as well. According to the Business Facilities article, Tennessee manufacturers employ over 340,000 individuals, and officials are taking notice. BMT is working with the state, county, and city on a public-private partnership for the expansion. Additionally, Jellico donated the building to be used for the city’s new facility, Campbell County donated acreage surrounding the site, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is assisting BMT with the building’s rehabilitation through a grant.
Such incentives could promote further expansion in manufacturing throughout Tennessee — and perhaps even Appalachia as a whole — bringing job opportunities to many more in the American south.