Hundreds of jobs are coming to Rhea County soon. Nokian Tyre’s new Dayton facility officially opened Wednesday.

The project began under Governor Haslam, but Governor Bill Lee said it matches his goals for rural Tennessee.

“It fits in exactly what I want to do,” he said. “I've said people want a good job and a good school for their kids in a safe neighborhood. Good jobs like this come when companies like this locate in our community."

All told, the plant will employ 400 people. The factory's operations director Peter Chia says those workers will be from the community.

"All our employees, half of them are from Rhea County and the rest of them are from the region,” Chia said. “We do have a long list of people that are in this area that are just waiting to come in in the next few phases.”

Nokian also announced their “Road to Sustainable Success” program to invest in local education. Governor Lee says it will be a great addition to the partnership.

“It really works best when we have a partnership between the private sector and the government and public institutions like our education system,” he said.

Right now the factory employs about 100 people and is still in its testing phase. They hope to reach the production phase by the end of 2020.