KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Two hundred new jobs are coming to East Tennessee, and that’s providing hope for those who are struggling to find work.
The news comes at a time when Tennessee has its highest unemployment rate in 20 years.
The new jobs are coming to Jefferson and Hamblen counties, but when companies choose East Tennessee, the impact reaches far beyond county lines.
An empty factory is a symbol of hopelessness, but this one is bringing hope to people who need it. By the end of the year the former Shelby Williams plant in Morrisown will be home to Double H Plastics and the 50 jobs the Pennsylvania-based company plans to create. That's welcome news for out of work job hunters like Angie Cutshaw.
Cutshaw says, "It makes me feel better. It makes me feel good."
She visitied the Five Rivers Regional Career Center, where she went to work looking for a job. The truck repair company she worked for saw its business disappear when the trucking industry struggled. A tire store she worked for closed its doors.
Cutshaw says, "I've done clerical for about 14 years, but right now I'd do about anything. Housekeeping, CNA, even pulling weeds out of flowers, anything."
Morristown is not the only area location to learn this week that new jobs are on the way. In Jefferson County Swedish furniture maker BJS Manufacturing, plans to bring 150 jobs to a new facility.
Don Cason, President, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, says, "We understand that there are economic times that are not great for those opportunities; however, Jefferson County is taking an opportunity at this time, when things are slow, to pull the community together for the times when they do get better."
Cason says convincing industries to locate here requires strategic planning. Being an optimist helps too. Angie Cutshaw brings the same approach to her job search.
Cuthsaw says, "It's hard, but you know you've just got to look for the future. I believe something will come along shortly. It's going to look up."
If you're looking for a job, the Tennessee Career Center can help.
To find the center closest to you and to see the jobs that are available, CLICK HERE.