Trucking jobs headed to Rhea County
RHEA COUNTY (WRCB) -- Beginning in September, officials in Rhea County have worked to bring more jobs to the area.
"We're finding out that you've got to get competitive. You have to give incentives to get the jobs in your community," says County Executive George Thacker.
Thacker says he looked to industries like Volkswagen for expansion opportunities.
"It looks like we've missed Volkswagen and Wacker," he says.
However, Thacker didn't have to look any further than his own backyard. La-Z-Boy Tennessee is the nation's largest plant for the Monroe Michigan company.
On Tuesday night county commissioners approved a resolution to purchase four acres of land across the street from the plant for $120,000.
The money will be loaned to the county by TVA.
"We bought the property, we're going to lease it back to them," Thacker says. "We're trying to send a message back to them that Rhea County wants your jobs."
In a statement La-Z-Boy management says, "This action provides the opportunity for La-Z-Boy Tennessee to begin discussions to utilize the property to enlarge our logistics workforce. We are eager to partner with the county to increase our employment base in Rhea County with quality jobs opportunities."
"Improves the economy. I'm all for it," says trucker, Ray Stewart.
Up to 80 new trucking jobs will be added with annual salaries of $50,000 to $55,000.
"The more jobs we get the better it is. That's what's wrong with the economy now, we ain't got enough jobs," says Stewart.
Thacker says La-Z-Boy brought 300 jobs to Rhea County since the beginning of the year and this new expansion could be just the beginning.
"There's other things that could come out of this," Thacker says.