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State Democrats Meet with Bridgestone Corporation on New Leg of ‘Jobs Tour’

Press Release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus, Nov. 4, 2011:

Discussions with business leaders continues across state

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Democrats met with Bridgestone Americas tire corporation officials in Nashville Thursday continuing a statewide tour to work toward creating more jobs in Tennessee.

“We had a great talk with Bridgestone officials about what we as lawmakers can do to create more jobs for Tennesseans,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory). “This is our major focus as we move into the New Year. Bridgestone bases their global operations offices right here in Nashville and we believe that they are a major source of jobs here.”

The talks with Bridgestone dealt with issues including workers’ compensation laws, the need for more technical training, judicial selection, the environment and other education needs for Tennesseans.

“We have learned so much from our stops across the state with small businesses and large corporations as well,” Turner said. “We walked away from the table yesterday with an agreement with Bridgestone to work with them in the coming months to develop legislation that will meet their needs, which we believe will continue to bring more jobs to Tennessee.”

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) announced recently that it will invest $36.6 million in its Warren County plant to increase production capacity by an additional 900 truck and bus tires per day. The expansion is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2013 and is projected to create 50 new jobs.

Also, the Bridgestone Metalpha U.S.A. plant in Clarksville will begin producing off-road radial steel cord in 2015, in connection with a $75 million investment that will increase daily output by 10 percent, expand the plant’s size by more 123,077 square feet, and create 36 hourly and nine salaried jobs.

The Jobs Tour is a continuation of a statewide effort to address the unemployment and business development needs in rural and urban areas.

The tour began Sept. 19 in Memphis, with stops throughout rural and urban areas across the state.

The unemployment rate in Tennessee currently sits at 9.8 percent; meaning more than 306,000 Tennesseans are looking for jobs. Some county unemployment rates are as high as 19.8 percent.

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