Local and company officials, as well as Kelvion employees, gathered on Tuesday April 23rd at the Forks of the River Industrial Park for a Knoxville Chamber Ribbon Cutting in the plant’s break room Tuesday morning.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs was able to interact with plant employees, sign autographs, and pose for photos before the event’s start. Jacobs described the ribbon cutting event as his “first really huge spectacular deal” in job creation since he took office eight months ago.
Knoxville Chamber Board Chair Terry Turner lead the event with opening remarks. Following the ribbon cutting, photos were taken with leadership and refreshments were served.
Kelvion has invested more than $7 million in a previously empty building at 5050 S. National Drive. The company began renovating the building in June and now employs 50 there. In the third quarter of 2019, the company will expand further — adding roughly 70 jobs, said Travis Nichols, chief financial officer for Kelvion U.S. Hiring is likely to start late this year, he said, but was unsure when the total of 60 would be reached.
The Rocore plant, which employed about 60 people to make the same kind of products as Kelvion, shut down in 2015, Nichols said. Oklahoma-based Kelvion bought Rocore last year, he said.
By the end of 2018, production was underway, Nichols said. Twenty-seven of the current employees are rehired Rocore workers, he said. “That was a huge benefit for us, and a huge selling point to come to this area,” Nichols said.