Bouncing back from lost jobs

A community that lost a major employer is bouncing back quickly. When a Goodyear plant closed in 2011, the unemployment rate in Union City, Tennessee jumped to 18%. Now less than four years later, that number is being cut in half.

The efforts of state and local agencies helped to revitalize the area. Obion County Economic Development Director Lindsay Frilling said its thanks to businesses likes Greenfield Products expanding and new ones coming in like MIA Seating. Darius Mir, CEO of MIA Seating, or Made in America Seating, chose Union City out of 17 locations to build his plant.

“Union City brought us an opportunity to approach a very talented workforce,” Mir said.

A workforce, coming from layoffs of the Goodyear plant closing in 2011, which caused the unemployment rate to double.

“For somebody to believe in us enough to come in and decide to come here and not only come here, but bring 510 jobs was an absolute blessing for us,” Frilling said.

Frilling said the location had to do a lot with it.

“They can reach their major markets of Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago in one day’s drive,” Frilling said.

Tennessee Valley Authority Economic for Development, Heidi Smith said another reason they were able to bounce back so quickly was because they put together a strategic plan. TVA marketed the spec building as a ready to use facility for a new company like MIA Seating to move into.

MIA Seating is sending its first shipment next week. They plan on hiring more than 100 employees this spring.

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