Unicoi County leaders say a major manufacturer is looking to expand

UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- A county trying to recover from the loss of a major employer, is now trying to hold on to one of its biggest manufacturers.

Unicoi County leaders said NN Inc., a major employer in the area, has expressed interest in expanding.

In the wake of CSX closing its railroad operations in Erwin, county leaders said they are trying to make sure the manufacturing company stays in the county.

“We don’t want to lose any more jobs in Unicoi County that’s for sure,” Town of Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch said. “If NN were to leave this area, it would just about double the problem.”

“I know that NN is looking for a place to expand, they are hoping to stay in Unicoi County, and naturally we want them to stay in Unicoi County,” Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley said.

NN Inc. makes metal, rubber and plastic components, and has been in Erwin for decades.

“We would like to be able to go to the table with them and give them some options and work with our state leaders to offer some options as well that would entice them to stay here,” Unicoi County Myor Greg Lynch said.

Greg Lynch said an expansion would not only keep jobs here, it could create jobs.

“Everybody’s really worried about the community, and of course so are the leaders of the community, we’re doing our best to stay on top of the situation,” Greg Lynch said.

He said after looking at multiple properties, NN is most interested in building a new facility on Dry Creek Road in Unicoi County.

“They are taking that site back to their board of directors for their approval. At that point we will get down to negotiations on what all that we can do for them and certainly get that site prepped for their construction,” Hensley said.

But at this point, the mayors said it’s a waiting game while NN decides if it will expand and then where it will expand.

NN did not return our phone calls seeking comment Monday.

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