Ceramaspeed bringing 40 'high-paying' jobs to Maryville
By Robert Norris | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ceramaspeed Inc. is bringing manufacturing back to Blount County.
Initially, the jobs will number about 40, but company officials anticipate the market will drive future expansion.
The company announced Wednesday at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce that Ceramaspeed, a world leader in the provision of electric radiant heating solutions for the glass ceramic appliance market, has purchased Isphording, a company from Germany.
To accommodate that acquisition, Ceramaspeed investigated adding manufacturing facilities at several locations around the world, including Germany, Poland, Mexico or Malaysia. The company chose Blount County.
Ceramaspeed is taking over the 55,000-square-foot Blount County Industrial Park building, formerly known as the Klote International facility, located at 1709 Henry G. Lane St. in Maryville.
“Ceramaspeed is excited to increase its manufacturing capacity and provide high-tech manufacturing positions in the Maryville area,” David Kidd, Ceramaspeed vice president/general manager, said in a prepared statement.
“We see this as welcomed news for our community and the people who live and work here. The Blount County area provides the skilled work force and business climate for Ceramaspeed to engineer and manufacture products that compete in today’s global market.”
Hiring in 2013
The $3.5-million investment brings positions in manufacturing and management. Ceramaspeed will work with the Blount Partnership and its own human resources department during the first phase of the hiring process which begins in the first quarter of 2013.
“I congratulate Ceramaspeed on its decision to expand in Blount County, and Tennessee appreciates the additional jobs this announcement creates,” said Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
“Existing industry expansions are key to the future growth and sustainability of our state’s economy. When an existing company like Ceramaspeed chooses Tennessee again, it is a testament to our state’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, to our business-friendly climate and to our high-quality work force.”
With Ceramaspeed and Isphording catering to the same customers in the appliance industry, moving to Blount County was made possible by great electricity rates, the type of work force skills, competitive wages and low tax rates. Kidd noted, “There was no comparison as to the savings we can achieve in those areas.”
Ceramaspeed will continue to employ the research and development and engineering groups in Germany as well as a portion of the development lab.
Following the transition, a gas burner will be fashioned at the facility with a machine shop capable of producing parts for a variety of customers.
“This is part of the ongoing plan to continue to bring new businesses and investment into Blount County,” said Blount Partnership president/CEO Bryan Daniels. “We’ve seen 1,300 jobs and more than $112 million in capital investment over the past 20 months. I think that speaks volumes about the community and relationship among the local governments in their commitment to be on the forefront of economic development, recruitment and the worth of the Blount Partnership.”
“We are extremely excited about Ceramaspeed expanding its operation in Blount County,” said Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell. “This type of enlargement is really a plus to this area and its investment speaks to the commitment to the growth of the county as an area for economic development.”
Company dates to 1897
As early as 1897, Isphording began developing and producing gas valves for stoves and gas street lights. It is one of the oldest manufacturers of gas products in Germany and was one of the first companies to develop valves for the commercial utilization of gas. It excels in designing and manufacturing gas burners and valves for high-end domestic and commercial appliances.
“It’s always exciting to see local businesses expand in the area,” said Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor. “Bringing in high-quality jobs is top priority, and this multimillion dollar investment gives the local economy an additional boost. Ceramaspeed is very successful in its market and brings about another great opportunity to the people of Blount County.”
Ceramaspeed formerly had a major manufacturing facility on McArthur Road in Alcoa that employed about 500 people. The firm manufactured radiant heaters for the North American market out of its former Maryville facility until 2007, when production was moved to Monterrey, Mexico.
That facility now houses the Blount County Operations Center that includes the Highway Department, Schools Maintenance Department, Blount County Codes, Zoning, Stormwater and Environmental Health Departments.
Ceramaspeed Inc. was founded in 1990 as the North American division of Ceramaspeed Limited (UK). The North American headquarters were established in Maryville and are located at 1706 Triangle Park Drive.
Ceramaspeed Inc. is owned by an affiliate of American Industrial Acquisition Corp. — a 16-year-old group of manufacturing facilities spanning 16 countries across North America, the European Union and Asia. It produces about 90 models of heaters for the consumer and commercial appliance markets.