TENNESSEE: Gestamp to add 500 jobs as part of Chattanooga expansion
Gestamp, a company that designs, develops and manufactures metal components and assemblies for the automotive sector, is investing $180 million to expand its existing cold-stamping operation in Chattanooga, Tenn., and build a new stamping facility to accommodate stamping of Class A parts for Volkswagen’s new mid-size SUV. The investment will triple the company’s capacity in Chattanooga and create more than 500 new jobs.
Currently Volkswagen uses press shops in several states to provide all the stamped metal parts for its Passat model, which is built in Chattanooga. The new expanded partnership will allow all of the external sheet metal stamping and a majority of the structural parts to occur at or near Chattanooga’s Enterprise South Industrial Park, greatly reducing the cost of transportation.
The new facility will enable Gestamp Chattanooga to offer for the first time hot-stamping technology, a process that allows metal to become lighter but harder.
Gestamp is a Tier 1 supplier to Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
OHIO: Nestle opens $50 million Research & Development center
Nestle has opened a new $50 million research and development center in Solon, Ohio, that will focus on the company’s frozen and chilled food lines.
In addition to developing R&D strategy for the frozen and chilled foods businesses, Nestlé R&D Solon will focus on product innovation and renovation by exploring ways to reduce sodium and saturated fat, eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, incorporate more vegetables and create gluten-free and high-protein options.
The launch of Nestlé R&D Solon is a significant expansion of the company’s already strong presence in Ohio. The new center builds on a number of Nestlé businesses that either launched in Solon – such as Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine and Nestlé Toll House cookie doughs – or have relocated there, including Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets, DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone and Jack’s pizza brands.
With the 2014 move of Nestlé Pizza to Solon and the opening of the 144,000-s.f. R&D facility, Nestlé now employs over 2,200 in the Cleveland area and 3,400 in Ohio.
Cook Pharmica LLC, a privately held contract development and manufacturing organization that serves the biopharmaceutical industry, is investing $28 million to expand its operations in Bloomington, Ind. With the addition of another product line, the company will fill pharmaceuticals into syringes, vials and cartridges for Cook Pharmica clients. Cook currently employs 575 employees in Bloomington and plans to add 70 new positions as part of the expansion.
Caito Foods Service Inc., a processor and distributor of fresh produce and fresh-prepared foods, is investing more than $15 million to build a new refrigerated processing center at its headquarters campus in Indianapolis. The expansion will create up to 350 new jobs by 2024.
AK Steel has broken ground on a $36 million research and innovation center in Middletown, Ohio, that will employ 76 researchers, scientists and engineers. The 135,000-s.f. facility will house pilot lines that simulate the company’s steel manufacturing operations and can be used for enhancing existing products and experimentation for new and improved products. The pilot line section will also include a high bay area with a mezzanine from which customers may view the pilot processes.
Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. has agreed to sell 43 of its beauty brands to Coty Inc. in a $12.5 billion deal. Among the brands included in the sale are Clairol, Sassoon, Max Factor and Cover Girl. According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, the sale will affect 10,000 P&G employees, including approximately 200 at its Cincinnati headquarters and area offices.
The board of directors of The Kroger Co. has approved a two-for-one split of the Cincinnati-based company’s common shares, the first stock split for the company since 1999. Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said the actions reflect a confidence in the company’s long-term performance and ability to deliver consistent growth to investors and will increase the accessibility of its shares and liquidity in trading.
Nike Inc. has opened a new logistics campus in Memphis that is the company’s largest distribution center in the world. The 2.8 million-s.f. facility holds all three product lines – footwear, apparel and equipment – under one roof and distributes the Nike and Jordan Brand products to individual consumers, wholesale customers and Nike retail channels. According to the Memphis Business Journal, the $301 million facility will operate with 400 employees for each of its four shifts, with those numbers expected to grow to 650 per shift.
DE-STA-CO, a company that specializes in manufacturing productivity solutions, is consolidating several of its U.S. manufacturing operations by locating a new facility in Mount Juliet, Tenn., near Nashville. The project will create 245 new jobs.