Greene County

Automotive manufacturing company expanding, adding jobs

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - A local company broke ground Thursday on an expansion that will bring news jobs to an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in Tennessee.

Huf North America in Greeneville announced Thursday they will invest $20 million in a new facility that will bring 100 manufacturing jobs.

The groundbreaking wasn't just a celebration of a company, but also a community. Because not too long ago, the future of Huf was grim. The company was scheduled to close its doors in December 2012. This expansion is good news for employees present and future.

The German company, that makes car parts, will build a 52,000 square foot addition to its current plant for a plastic injection molding and paint facility. They will now be able to make, paint and assemble things including car doors.

Michael Supe, the company president & CEO, said the project will streamline the production process and save money. "The big step and big benefit is to bring those processes under one roof," he said.

The addition of jobs to the county is also important to the company and the county.

Bill Hagerty, the Economic and Community Development Commissioner, said the state is working to recruit companies to Tennessee and help companies like Huf to expand. "We have a tiered tax incentive structure that is directly focused on our counties with the highest distress." That includes areas like Greene County that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. "It's a tough economic environment globally, it's tough in the United States and Tennessee is swimming against the tide," Hagerty said.

In December 2012, Greene County's unemployment rate was 10.4%.

Huf hopes to have the expansion finished by the end of the year and to start sending deliveries by the beginning of 2014.

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