Top companies provide promise for Clarksville, local workforce

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In a few short years, Clarksville has experienced a considerable economic surge. 

The city is celebrating its sudden commercial prowess and for good reason.   

“Montgomery County is looking forward to a long-lasting and bright relationship with LG,” said county mayor, Jim Durett, during the LG plant groundbreaking in 2017.   

This type of vision and foresight requires international, state, and local collaboration.   

The end result is what’s been called the world’s most advanced, $360 million washing machine manufacturing facility, opened there in May.  

“This is the best place for us to do business,” says John Tayor, LG’s senior vice president of electronics. “Clarksville is our home.”  

As Taylor points out, the site speaks for itself. On 310 acres and one million square feet inside, LG brought this plant to Clarksville to be closer to its customers and to recruit hundreds of local workers.  

“It was going to be 600 jobs,” says Taylor. “When we did the grand opening it was 550 already, as we sit here today, we’re north of 700.”  

From tubs and drums to electronics and moldings, it all comes together to churn out more than 1 million machines a year. And the cycle isn’t complete without the tens of millions in salary paid to LG’s Clarksville workforce.  

“When you think of the wages LG is paying, people are putting kids through school, they’re buying a house, buying cars, they’re putting food on the table,” Taylor says.   

It’s all about fit and finding a groove, just like the one Hankook tire carved out with Clarksville leaders in 2017.  

“A lot of the investment we’re seeing in Tennessee are companies that have never had a presence in the U.S.,” said former Governor, Bill Haslam, at the time of the Hankook announcement.   

The rubber that meets the road comes from this $800 million tire plant. It employs more than 1,000 skilled people, partially picked from area colleges and universities, Fort Campbell, or other local outlets.  

“You get a variety of people from blue-collar to white-collar,” says director of sales management, Terry Smouter.  

They produce a product unique only to this location.  

“The Clarksville area has been really good to Hankook,” Smouter says. “We were able to pull from, not just Clarksville but the surrounding area and communities even as far as Nashville.”  

These companies cultivate a culture that’s changed the game in Clarksville, not only creating a commodity but also building a long-lasting legacy of innovation, opportunity, and economic promise.   

News 2 is digging deeper into the growth of Clarksville and the impact it has on communities in Middle Tennessee. We explore “Clarksville: The Good, The Bad, The Future” all day Thursday in every newscast. Click here for more.

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