KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co. Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said there’s one long-term effect of Wednesday’s “Project Inspire” announcement to invest $1.6 billion and add 300 new jobs at its Kingsport location over the next seven years.
“This means our corporate headquarters will be here (in Kingsport) for years and years to come,” Rogers told a room filled with smiling community leaders and elected officials at the MeadowView Marriott.
The multiyear project will culminate with Eastman’s 100th anniversary in 2020.
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———Earlier report posted at 10:41 a.m.:
KINGSPORT – Eastman Chemical Company Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today announced a major economic development project referred to as Project Inspire. As part of this project, over the next seven years, Eastman will invest $1.6 billion in its Kingsport site and add 300 new jobs in Tennessee. This comprehensive effort will enable the company to invest in, among other things, new growth opportunities, safety and environmental projects, increased warehouse capacity, building renovations and expansion of its corporate campus.
"This represents a landmark capital investment that will modernize and expand our largest manufacturing site and corporate campus here in Kingsport,” said Rogers. "This multi-year project will culminate in Eastman’s 100thanniversary in 2020. I can think of no better way to honor our long-term commitment to this site and surrounding community than through this very significant investment in our future.”
The state will provide funding to support the corporate campus expansion, road infrastructure improvements for the project, and a grant to meet advanced manufacturing training needs for the company through the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing located in Kingsport.
“I want to thank Eastman and its employees for all of the incredible work they do that has brought us here today,” Haslam said. “For nearly 100 years, Eastman has been crucial to the state’s economy, growing into a global brand, and today’s announcement means they will continue to grow right here where they started. This investment will bring hundreds of high quality jobs to the state, and I appreciate Eastman’s continued investment in Tennessee.”
In thanking the Governor for support from the State of Tennessee, Rogers said, “Eastman is proud to be making a significant investment in Tennessee. Project Inspire will allow us to remain a global leader and further expand our ability to provide solutions and build on our 100-year heritage of innovation.”
Rogers also thanked community leaders for their continued support of the company. He recognized that this is the second sizable investment at the Kingsport site in recent years and attributed it to Eastman’s symbiotic relationship with the community.
“Together, we have built a significant legacy in this region, and we look forward to it continuing,” added Rogers. “This investment will enable our headquarter campus to grow as the company does, and that is good for all of us. A growing company creates jobs, strengthens the tax base and benefits all of our stakeholders, including our employees, communities, customers and stockholders.”
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 13,500 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.