Seventy-five of the region’s manufacturers gathered at Jackson Terminal yesterday for a breakfast hosted by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. The event, part of the nation’s annual Manufacturing Week, celebrated the industry’s impact on area economy. Held Oct. 2-6, Manufacturing Week recognizes current industry contributions and inspires the next generation of manufacturers.

Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley is known for its robust and diverse manufacturing industry with companies like Lifetime Products, Leisure Pools and Spas, Fresenius Medical Care, and Bush’s Best operating in the region.

During his remarks, Mayor Burchett noted nearly 40,000 workers, or 10 percent of our region’s workforce, are in the manufacturing industry with an average annual wage of $62,800, well above the region’s average.

Members of the Manufacturer’s Roundtable attended the breakfast. An initiative led by Innovation Valley, the meetings offers manufacturers from across the region an opportunity to collaborate through open discussions of industry best practices.  Discussions cover a wide range of topics, including quality and safety, workforce development, workplace culture, and innovation.

The Manufacturer’s Roundtable meets the last Tuesday of each month at 8 a.m. To learn more about the roundtable or join its upcoming meetings contact Patrice Collins at 865-246-2646 or


Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett addresses a crowd of regional manufacturers.