Auto supplier employing 300 breaks ground on Chattanooga plant

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A key supplier to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga assembly plant has started construction on its $70 million Enterprise South industrial park plant, and it has begun initial hiring of its workforce that’s slated to hit 184 employees by mid-2015.

The plant expects to employ about 300 people within about three years, said Marc Cornet, chief executive of the Americas for Plastic Omnium Auto Exteriors.

“We’ve started putting a strong team in place,” Cornet said as the company officially broke ground on a 27-acre site off Hickory Valley Road near the VW factory.

Most of the hiring for the plant, which will produce auto bumpers and serve VW and other automakers in the Southeast, will start in 2015, he said.

Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, one of about 50 people taking part in the groundbreaking, said it’s important to see manufacturers such as Plastic Omnium make investments.

“Chattanooga and Tennessee are heading the manufacturing renaissance,” he said. “It’s the future. Not the past.”

See more in Saturday’s Times Free Press.