One week, two new industry announcements

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

There are a lot of great things about being County Executive, but the thing I love most are the people I get to work with every single day.

From my office, to the county commission, to county department heads, I am part of some great, hard-working groups. The Chamber is another team I’m privileged to be part of, and this month we proved teamwork really does make the dream work.

Economic development is a team sport and Ryan Egly, as president and CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber, coaches a group that in this case included Tennessee, Lawrence County and Lawrenceburg officials, the Lawrence County Property Board, and Lawrenceburg Utility Systems.

He heads up the youngest Chamber in the state, and if you’ll forgive another sports analogy, they’ve hit one (actually, two) out of the park.

In announcements that came exactly seven days apart, Lawrence Countians were told two new employers are locating here. The first is Blickman Industries LLC, a medical equipment manufacturer investing over $2.7 million in the former MityLite building and creating 48 jobs. The second is Magna, an automotive supplier building a $200 million, 400,000-square-foot facility in Team Lawrence Commerce Park and creating 250 jobs.

These are monumental opportunities for our workforce. Both companies are successful and well-established, which spells security for their employees and long-term economic benefits for this community and region.

Blickman was founded in 1889 and is an award-winning producer of stainless steel and chrome products used in doctors’ offices and hospitals, including cabinets, cases, scrub sinks, surgical utensils, tables, and utility carts.

Magna grew out of a one-man tool and die shop established in 1959 to become one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. It now has

171,000 employees working at 341 manufacturing facilities and 88 product development, engineering, and sales centers in 29 countries.

Lawrence County Commissioners played a significant role in convincing Magna to bring one of their newest projects to Lawrenceburg. You may remember Commissioners voting at their May meeting to sell “Project Gemini” 72 acres of industrial property at $1 per acre. Commissioners knew their vote could reap tremendous rewards in the form of employment, community development, and tax proceeds.

It’s important to note that companies looking to locate in a community demand secrecy, so none of us knew Magna’s true identity. Egly told us it was a great company that plans to pay great wages. That’s where faith in our coach comes in, and Egly has earned that trust.

In Lawrenceburg, Magna will build a stamping and assembly facility to produce truck frames for Ford’s BlueOval City in Stanton, Tennessee. The frames will be shipped by train, which made the acreage next to a rail line behind Federal Express, H & M Bay, and Craig Manufacturing especially appealing. Dirt work has begun at the site.

Along with the Lawrence County project, Magna is building two facilities in BlueOval City’s supplier park. These include an 800,000-square-foot frame and battery enclosures facility and a 140,000-square-foot seating facility. Altogether, Magna is making a $790 million investment and creating 1,300 new jobs in Tennessee, with production at all three expected to start in 2025.

Ford is building an electric vehicle manufacturing facility at the 3,600-acre site in West Tennessee and two battery plants in Kentucky. It will build Ford’s second-generation electric truck, and be capable of producing 500,000 at full production.

Thanks again to our economic development team for the long, hard work that brings projects like Blickman and Magna to this community.

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