Home » Interstate Lane – December 2013

Interstate Lane – December 2013

By Karen Baird

TENNESSEE: Schwan Cosmetics USA to build $38M plant in Murfreesboro

Schwan Cosmetics is a private-label manufacturer of cosmetic pencils.
Schwan Cosmetics is a private-label manufacturer of cosmetic pencils.

Schwan Cosmetics USA is building a new facility in Murfreesboro, Tenn., that will bring its United States operations under one roof.

The project will merge Schwan’s Cosmolab facility in Lewisburg, Tenn., and its Schwan Cosmetics USA facility in Piscataway, N.J.

The announcement represents an investment of $38 million that will create 250 new jobs over the next five years. Total employment at the Middle Tennessee plant will reach 450 as more than 200 jobs will transfer from the Lewisburg facility. The 173,000-s.f. Murfreesboro plant is expected to open during the first half of 2015.

Headquartered in Germany, Schwan is a leading private-label manufacturer of cosmetic pencils and products worldwide.

WEST VIRGINIA: Expansion at Sogefi auto parts plant creates 250 jobs

Italy’s Sogefi Group is adding at least 250 new jobs to support the expansion of its auto parts plant in Prichard, W. Va.

Sogefi’s Wayne County plant, which opened in 2004, manufactures parts for automobile engines, including fuel pumps, fuel filters, and oil filters. Parts from the company’s West Virginia plant are used by global automotive giants including Toyota, Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, BMW, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia. With the $20 million expansion, Sogefi will begin producing engine intake manifolds for General Motors, adding yet another major auto producer to the plant’s customer list.

Plant modifications, which include repurposing the plant’s existing 215,000-s.f. production, warehouse and office areas, are scheduled to begin in January 2014 and be finished by May. The company will be hiring engineers, quality staff, supervisor and maintenance technicians as well as production positions.

INDIANA: Pro-business environment lures Illinois company to Indiana

Tec Air Inc., a company that designs and manufacturers fans and blowers for HVAC original equipment manufacturers, is moving its headquarters from Illinois to Munster, Ind., creating up to 258 new jobs by 2016.

The $15 million facility, which will be complete next spring, will house corporate offices, labs, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.

“Outgrowing our current location and Indiana’s pro-business environment solidified our decision to not only expand into Indiana but to relocate our entire operation from Illinois,” said Tec Air President Bob McMurtry.

Tec Air will transfer approximately 150 jobs from its Illinois facility and plans to begin hiring new employees at the beginning of the new year.

Tec Air is the fourth company in the span of one month to announce plans to move operations from Illinois to Indiana: RACO is relocating a distribution center, Land O’Frost is moving its headquarters and MAC Medical is relocating warehouse and shipping operations.

Business briefs


♦ One Southern Indiana, a chamber of commerce and economic development organization that serves the Southern Indiana/Louisville metro area, has partnered with Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, to form the Southeast Regional Logistics Council. The newly formed council is an industry-led initiative that will identify and advance local infrastructure projects, public policies and workforce development needs to strengthen the region’s logistics sector. SERLC comprises more than 15 advanced manufacturing and logistics industry representatives from Southeast Indiana and Louisville.

♦ Micropulse Inc., a medical device manufacturer for the orthopedic and cardiovascular industries, is expanding its operations in Columbia City, Ind., creating up to 100 new jobs by 2016. Founded in Indiana in 1988, the company currently employs more than 240 full-time employees. Micropulse houses and incubates orthopedic startups through its Orthovation Center and also develops innovative orthopedic implants that are available for licensing to other companies.


♦ Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares Inc. has acquired Camco Financial, the parent company of Cambridge, Ohio-based Advantage Bank, in a deal valued at $97 million. The acquisition adds 22 former Camco banking offices throughout eastern and southern Ohio to Huntington’s network of 700 branches in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky.


♦ Tennessee-based furniture manufacturer England Inc. is investing $17.5 million to expand its New Tazewell, Tenn., manufacturing plant. The expansion will accommodate new product lines and add 300 employees over the next five years. England, which has been in operation in Tennessee for 50 years, is one of the largest employers in Claiborne County, employing a staff of 1,050.

♦ Knoxville Locomotive Works plans to establish an assembly and fabrication plant in Knoxville to satisfy new EPA emission requirements for trains. Recent EPA mandates require all termed-out locomotives be replaced by new engines to meet updated emission standards. In response to the requirements, KLW has designed and engineered a patented gear box and materials process to assemble rebuilt locomotives using new and used parts that exceed EPA standards. KLW will assemble and sell both kits and rebuilt locomotives to its domestic and international customers. The $6.1 million project will create 203 new jobs over the next three years.


♦ Analabs Inc., a West Virginia-based company that provides drug testing and lab work for corporations, has broken ground on a 7,000-s.f. expansion of its facility in Crab Orchard. The $1.5 million expansion will add more lab space and a clean room.

♦ TLK Group, a call center services provider, has opened a new call center in Huntington, W. Va., to handle incoming calls for a Fortune 100 company. The company plans to employ a staff of approximately 500 by the fall of next year.

♦ Unilin is adding a second shift at its wood-floor manufacturing plant in Holden, W. Va., to help meet increased product demand. The company is adding 50 to 80 new positions to staff the additional shift.