Haslam announces England expanding, adding jobs

Marisa Anders Civitas Media

October 24, 2013

Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with England Inc. officials today announced the furniture company will celebrate its 50th anniversary in Tennessee by expanding their presence in New Tazewell.

England will invest $17.5 million and hire 300 new employees over the next five years in Claiborne County.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great day for Claiborne County and a great day for England Furniture,” said Rob Barger, chairman of the Claiborne County Industrial Development Board, in his opening remarks. Haslam, Hagerty and other officials were on hand at England Inc. Plant 9 for the announcement Thursday afternoon.

“This is huge news and we are very, very grateful to you for doing this,” Haslam said of England Inc.

“There are two reasons this is so important to me,” Haslam said. “First, people think we can’t make things in America any more. Also, people say the rural areas of our state are dying, that it’s hard to have good employment opportunities, but this is an example of why that isn’t true. In Tennessee we are committed to having every area of our state be strong and see significant economic growth.”

Hagerty commended the company for what it has done for the economy.

“Tennessee’s reputation is synonymous with quality workmanship around the world. We are known for a level of craftsmanship that is increasingly more difficult to find. England has tapped into our high quality workforce where the Tennessee tradition of pride and commitment to excellence remains second to none,” Hagerty said. “I congratulate England on 50 years of success here in Tennessee and appreciate the jobs they have created and will continue to create into the future.”

England Furniture is one of the largest employers in Claiborne County, employing 1,050 people. The company is expanding due to the addition of new product lines.

“We want to thank the leadership at the state and county level for facilitating our plan to increase the employment base in our local community,” England Inc. President Otis Sawyer said. “We look forward to 50 more years of manufacturing quality furniture.”

“It is a great honor to have an established business such as England/La-Z-Boy providing jobs for the people of Claiborne County, and as the Mayor, I commend England for their accomplishments,” Claiborne County Mayor Jack Daniels said.

“I want to congratulate England, Inc. on this significant announcement and thank the company for its continued investment in Claiborne County,” Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce Director Dennis Shipley said. “England, Inc. has played a key role in the continued growth and support in our community, and I am pleased with the company’s plans to expand in Claiborne County and proud that the Chamber of Commerce was able to assist in this project.”

After the individual remarks, Haslam and Hagerty were taken on a tour of Plant 9.

England is committed to making its products in America. During the recent economic downturn, England accelerated its investment in technology and transportation equipment to gain an edge on the competition. The company’s ongoing strategy is to leverage the advantages of being an American-focused manufacturing and distribution entity. Rapid delivery, coupled with selection, service and quality, continues to pay dividends and has helped England keep jobs in Tennessee.

People interested in applying for a job can apply directly at England’s Human Resource Department located at 995 England Industrial Rd. in New Tazewell Mon. through Fri. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Claiborne Progress | Civitas Media, LLC