Kelvion opens plant, plans to hire 60 workers

The former Rocore Group plant in Forks of the River Industrial Park is once again making industrial heat exchangers and cooling systems.

Local and company officials lined up, backed by Kelvion employees, to cut an orange ribbon in the plant’s break room.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs touted Kelvion’s ribbon-cutting as his “first really huge spectacular deal” in job creation since he took office seven months ago.

Kelvion invested more than $7 million in a previously empty building at 5050 S. National Drive, Jacobs said.

The company began renovating the building in June and now employs 50 there, said Terry Turner, chairman of the Knoxville Chamber.

In the third quarter of 2019, the company will expand further — ultimately adding about 60 more jobs, said Travis Nichols, chief financial officer for Kelvion U.S. Hiring is likely to start late this year, he said, but was unsure when the total of 60 would be reached.

The Rocore plant, which employed about 60 people to make the same kind of products as Kelvion, shut down in 2015, Nichols said. Oklahoma-based Kelvion bought Rocore last year, he said.

By the end of 2018, production was underway, Nichols said. Twenty-seven of the current employees are rehired Rocore workers, he said.

“That was a huge benefit for us, and a huge selling point to come to this area,” Nichols said.

Kelvion is receiving unspecified incentives from the state, Knoxville Chamber and Tennessee Valley Authority, he said.

“We’re still in the process of finalizing all of those,” Nichols said.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, By Jim Gaines

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Published April 26, 2019