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Why Haslam went up the creek

Photo above: Governor Bill Haslam listens as Sonny Fletcher points to a picture of his father behind the counter of his store in Stoney Creek. John Fletcher (middle) looks on. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Roberston The press release says it happened in Elizabethton, but don’t be fooled. Governor Bill Haslam didn’t go to Elizabethton last month to celebrate the passage of the IMPROVE Act and its one-cen ...

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NN, Inc. to sell Precision Bearing Components Group

NN Inc., a Johnson City-based industrial parts manufacturing company, announced this week it is selling off its Precision Bearing Components Group, which includes its properties in Erwin and Mountain City. The deal with Tsubaki Nakashima Co., Ltd., will bring NN $375 million in cash. It will close later this quarter, subject to regulatory approval. “We think it will close in between 30 and 60 days,” said Ri ...

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Eastman, Costa inducted into JA Business Hall of Fame

2017 Laureate: Mark J. Costa Mark J. Costa, chairman and CEO of Eastman, rose from working class, if not humble, beginnings. He was born to Alice and Donald Costa and raised in Salinas, California. Donald Costa was a first-generation American, his parents having emigrated from Portugal. An entrepreneur, Donald became successful in agriculture and trucking, eventually giving Mark the opportunity to become th ...

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Miyake Forging to invest $13.7 million in new Phipps Bend plant

Photo above: The June 7 groundbreaking  Photos courtesy NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership By Scott Roberston Miyake Forging, a Japan-based bearing and parts company, announced in June it will build a new automotive bearing parts manufacturing facility in Surgoinsville, Tenn.’s Phipps Bend Industrial Park. The company said it will create 60 jobs and invest $13.7 million in its inaugural North American operation. ...

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Pending Kmart closure creates commercial real estate buzz

Photo above: The lot’s ease of access to I-26 and State of Franklin Road will be a unique selling point.  Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson With the June 6 announcement from Sears/Kmart corporate headquarters that Kmart store 7353 in Johnson City would be shuttered, a new excitement surrounding the future of that piece of land has arisen. If, as the old joke goes, the three most important factors ...

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Laughlin, Mountain States complete merger

Photo above: Alan Levine of Mountain States and Chuck Whitfield of Laughlin at the November merger announcement (file photo) By Scott Roberson Laughlin Memorial Hospital and Mountain States Health Alliance officially joined Mountain States Health Alliance June 30, completing a merger that had been announced last November. “This historic step will help preserve and strengthen Laughlin Memorial Hospital,” sai ...

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TRI readies for Aerospace Park grant process: Works to replace flight school

Photo above: Artist’s rendering of Aerospace Park when grading is complete. Courtesy Tri-Cities Airport By Scott Roberston The next few weeks represent the deep breath before the plunge for Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) officials working to obtain state funding for the Aerospace Park project. The Tennessee state government budget includes $30 million in grant funding through the Department of Transportation for ...

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Business community backing education, workforce development efforts: Pathways, SCORE and Work Ready Communities

Photo Above: Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, surrounded by his fellow county mayors speaks about the region’s Work Ready Community progress. Photo courtesy First Tennessee Development District By Scott Roberston Within a 30-day span in June, regional business, government and education leaders heard about and/or took part in the development of three different workforce-development related initiatives affe ...

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Not your grandmother’s yarn factory: Universal Fibers defies outdated expectations

Photo above: Tim Lawson The second in a series of “Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce” articles by the United Way of Southwest Virginia Brandon Turner grew up hearing about the local yarn factory, but never really having any idea what those words meant. “I’m from this area and I went to school with someone for years whose dad worked at ‘the yarn factory’ – that’s what he called Universal Fibers. Every time he t ...

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