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$3 million in ARC funds to help Southwest Virginia

Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded nearly $3 million in funds to two organizations in Southwest Virginia to create and train workers for jobs in new sectors of the region’s economy. The funding comes as part of the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a multi-age ...

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Payment reform:‘Right thing to do,’ but ‘devil is in the details’

By Jeff Keeling Second in a two-part series. Read the first story at “I really believe Dr. Dykes saved my life,” Mary Snyder says. Mary Snyder wasn’t just sick late last fall. She was really sick. The Jonesborough resident’s congestive heart failure (CHF) had hit her with a vengeance. She had fluid on her lungs (pulmonary edema), a common si ...

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Teleperformance to add 500 jobs at Bristol call center

The expansion will keep Teleperformance recruiter Melanie Setterhoff busy for some time. Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Teleperformance has committed to creating approximately 500 new full-time jobs at its Bristol, Tenn., call center over the next five years. The center currently has between 700 and 800 employees. The company has also committed to investing $800,000 in new equipment for the fa ...

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Due diligence proceeding as Summers-Taylor looks to buy Model Mill

By Jeff Keeling See the original article from when the contract on the Model Mill was announced at By the end of July, just a few weeks after announcing his family company would purchase and renovate Johnson City’s historic Model Mill, Summers-Taylor Inc. President Grant Summers said good progress was being made in the due diligence process. As crews from Burleson Cons ...

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Site selection specialist assesses Unicoi County’s industrial development prospects

By Scott Robertson If there is a silver lining to the cloud CSX Railways’ departure left over Unicoi County, it is that the county’s application to the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP) has been accepted, creating opportunities the county otherwise would not have had. PEP is a relatively new program developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development in Nashville. Its stated g ...

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Smith & Wesson purchases Taylor Brands for $85 million

By Scott Robertson Smith & Wesson is best known as a manufacturer of firearms, but Kingsport, Tenn.-based Taylor Brands is bringing a knife to a gun company. The local knife maker has long been licensed to produce product lines under the Smith & Wesson brand. When the sale of Taylor Brands to Smith & Wesson Holding Company (SWHC)’s Battenfield Technologies Division closes later this month, $85 m ...

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Alpha Natural Resources emerges from Chapter 11 as Contura Energy begins operations

By Scott Robertson Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) is back and Contura Energy has arrived. Alpha issued a statement announcing it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 26, the same day Contura announced it had completed the acquisition of what had been Alpha’s key assets. Formed and majority-owned by a group of Alpha’s former first lien lenders, Contura was created to acquire and operate what had been A ...

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The BJ Proust Kobayashi Maru

S ince you are reading a business publication, let us, for the purposes of this column, assume you own or manage a business – or are working toward that end, and therefore are already aware of the difficulties involved in finding, hiring and keeping a qualified workforce. In recent years we have written about local employers’ difficulties finding workers who check several boxes: communication and other soft ...

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Networks: readies for red carpet event

Above: The Core Group of planners meets to discuss logistics of the Red Carpet Tour. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson The economic development game is all about connections. Communities hire economic development professionals to connect with site selection consultants who connect with the companies that can bring jobs back to the communities. The broader a community’s circle of connections grows, ...

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Healthcare Heroes 2016

For the last 23 years, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA has called the attention of the business community to the individuals and organizations that have helped make the provision of health care the largest single industry in the region. It can easily be argued that health care is also the most important industry in the region. After all, without quality health care, no other industry can survive. ...

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