FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2013
For more information,
Contact: Scott Bird
Gerdau, a steel manufacturer with operations in 14 countries, is increasing its Knox County presence with an expansion into West Knox County and the addition of approximately 40 new jobs.
Gerdau’s Knoxville steel mill in the Lonsdale community has operated for 110 years under various names and owners. Gerdau took over operations in 1999 and employs nearly 240 local residents.
“I want to thank Gerdau for the jobs it is creating and its continued investment in Tennessee and the Lonsdale community,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “One of the priorities of our Jobs4TN strategy is focusing on expanding businesses already located in the state, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
The additional facility in WestBridge Business Park will take steel rebar manufactured at the Lonsdale mill and apply finishing services for original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The facility will have a capacity of about 120,000 tons of finished steel per year.
“I’m honored that Gerdau has chosen expand their operations in Knox County’s WestBridge Business Park,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “It’s good to see a vacant building put back to industrial use by one of our strong existing industries,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.”
Establishing this service line created the need to expand and add the new workers and equipment.
Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Brice Wager said the company has enjoyed the synergy and support of doing business in Knoxville and Knox County. When faced with the reality that the project was bigger than what was available on the Lonsdale campus, Wager said the stars seemed to align in favor of Knox County.
“We were extremely fortunate to have found a turn-key site in a former steel facility, which means we can move quickly to meet our customer’s expectations,” Wager said. “The assistance Gerdau has received from everyone – at the state and county levels – has been fantastic.”
The new production secures a significant portion of the portfolio of Gerdau’s mill in the Lonsdale community where the raw material for the product is produced.
“It would have been lost business,” Wager said. “If we had not been successful in this expansion, these new jobs would have been added in another state.”
The Knoxville Chamber worked with Gerdau both in locating a suitable site in the former steel facility, and as liaison to the Tennessee Economic and Community Development office and the Development Corporation of Knox County.
“We are so pleased that Gerdau has decided to expand their operations in Knox County,” said Rhonda Rice, Knoxville Chamber executive vice president.
“Gerdau has been such an important long-term industrial citizen of our community, and their continued investment and job creation speaks volumes that the Innovation Valley is a leading region for business locations and expansions.”
Gerdau is set to receive several grants, tax credits and tax exemptions through several state economic development incentive programs: a job training grant, Tennessee Manufacturing Jobs Tax Credits, industrial machine tax credits and reduced sales and use taxes on fuel and water consumption.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has over 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has about 140,000 shareholders.