Posted on December 14, 2018
“Just as Alcoa did in the last century, in this century DENSO has provided better jobs that mean stronger families, better schools, stronger communities and safer neighborhoods—something for which every single Blount Countian can be grateful.” Senator Lamar Alexander
** For high resolution photos, please email Ashton_Davies@alexander.senate.gov **
MARYVILLE, Tenn., December 14, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said at the grand opening ceremony of a new DENSO manufacturing facility in Maryville that, in this century the company “has provided better jobs that mean stronger families, better schools, stronger communities and safer neighborhoods” for Blount County.
“In 1917, Alcoa came from Pittsburgh and built a big aluminum smelting plant in Blount County. The residents were so upset they tarred and feathered the mayor and ran him out of town,” Alexander said.“But, it wasn’t long before Blount Countians realized Alcoa was good for the community – the company brought good-paying jobs to East Tennessee and suddenly families found themselves making good wages. Alcoa created more jobs, stronger families, better schools and stronger communities for Blount County in the last century, and DENSO is having the same effect in this century. Of course, DENSO has been part of our state's auto industry from the beginning.”
Alexander told the story of how DENSO came to Blount County when he, as governor, received a call from Toyota that it would bring a small, 100-employee auto supplier called Nippon Denso to his hometown of Maryville as a “consolation prize” after deciding to build its plant in Lexington, Kentucky. “And now, 30 years later, that ‘consolation prize’ has 4,350 full-time employees in Blount County, and 1,900 more at two other Tennessee DENSO plants in Athens and Jackson,” Alexander said.
Alexander continued, “Because of Tennessee’s central location, our right-to-work law, our top-notch roads, good governors and state leadership, and our strong workforce, DENSO is one of nearly 1,000 auto suppliers that have made Tennessee the top automotive manufacturing state in the country. Since 2001, DENSO has invested about $1.4 billion – and last year announced another $1 billion in future investments - in its Maryville campus and grown from about 551 jobs from when it first started to the more than 4,350 today. This new manufacturing facility means even more new job opportunities for Blount Countians, and behind those new jobs, there are a lot of happy human faces.”
Alexander concluded, “Just as Alcoa did in the last century, in this century DENSO has provided better jobs that mean stronger families, better schools, stronger communities and safer neighborhoods—something for which every single Blount Countian can be grateful. Today’s grand opening is just one more accomplishment to add to DENSO’s long history of success – a success story I know will last for generations to come.”
Lamar Alexander is the senior senator from Tennessee, and he serves as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. For his full biography, click here.