A host of public officials and former Alcoa Inc. workers
joined company Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfield today in breaking ground for the $275 million
expansion of Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations.
The expansion is
preparation to meet a growing demand for aluminum in automotive manufacturing -- a demand that is
expected to nearly double by 2025.
The project, expected to be
completed by mid-2015, will create an additional 200 full-time jobs at the plant, as well
as 400 construction-related jobs.
The Tennessee expansion is the
second major automotive expansion by Alcoa in North America to meet car makers’ demand; a $300
million expansion of Alcoa’s Davenport, Iowa plant has already begun commissioning and is set to be
completed by the end of 2013. Much of the volume for the automotive expansions is secured under
long-term supply agreements.
“This investment will help auto manufacturers
make safe, fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want,” said Kleinfeld. “At the same time, we’re
bringing jobs to Tennessee and growing our value-added businesses. It’s a great day all
As part of the groundbreaking and the 100th anniversary of
Tennessee Operations, Alcoa announced a $50,000 Alcoa Foundation grant to The East Tennessee
Historical Society to create an exhibit at the Museum of East Tennessee History on the past, present
and future of manufacturing, “100 Years of Manufacturing in East Tennessee: and a Look Ahead at
the Next 100 Years.” The exhibit will raise awareness of the evolution of manufacturing, with
an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to promote career options in
manufacturing to students and teachers across East Tennessee and help fill the manufacturing skills
"Alcoa's announcement fits right into Tennessee's growing
status as the premier location for auto suppliers," said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a
Maryville native, in a statement. "But for those of us who grew up here, it is much more than that.
For thousands of East Tennessee's families during the last century, Alcoa's presence has meant
good jobs, good schools and stronger communities."