As 2024 unfolds at your Chattanooga Chamber, we are looking at our audience’s favorite stories from this past year. Explore the highlights of 2023 with TREND’s top 10 stories, offering insight into many of the pivotal moments that shaped our local economy and community.
TPC Printing & Packaging, a 99-year-old company specializing in luxury packaging for global brands, invested $21 million for expansion in East Ridge, Tennessee. The expansion aims to add 60,000 square feet to their existing manufacturing plant, over 90 jobs, enhance production capabilities and is set to be completed by October, ahead of the company’s 100th anniversary in April 2024.
NOVONIX, a leading EV-battery technology manufacturer, announced a strategic partnership for workforce development through the NOVONIX Future-Ready Institute with Hamilton County Schools. They also secured significant a public investment of $150 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a factory alongside Piedmont Lithium in Etowah, Tennessee, which was awarded $141.7 million to produce lithium hydroxide, a component in EV batteries.
Local companies such as Volkswagen of Chattanooga, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Southern Champion Tray and UNUM stand out by offering on-site exercise facilities for their employees. These facilities not only provide convenience but also feature specialized programs, group classes and unique amenities, reflecting a commitment to employee well-being and fostering a positive workplace culture that goes beyond more conventional benefits.
Chattanooga’s One Westside plan will transform 300 downtown riverfront acres by expanding education opportunities, creating 2,000 affordable housing units and improving infrastructure using tax increment financing (TIF) for an $800 million development boost over the next decade.
Vision Hospitality Group breaks ground on the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chattanooga Downtown, a $54 million investment set to create over 100 jobs and contribute to the city’s economic growth. Mitch Patel, President and CEO, discusses the significance of being located in Chattanooga to Vision’s success, overcoming rejections, offering advice for entrepreneurs and the company’s commitment to social responsibility, especially in the fight against human trafficking.
Chattanooga Airport embarked on the largest terminal expansion in over 30 years with a $28 million project that began in June. The expansion includes the addition of 26,000 square feet, three passenger loading bridges, increased security lanes and renovations, funded by a combination of federal grants, organizational funds and passenger facility charges, which is phase two of the airport’s 20-year master plan.
Southern Champion Tray, a Chattanooga-based eco-friendly packaging leader, invested $60 million in a new 320,000-square-foot facility within the Centre South Riverport Industrial Park, creating over 150 jobs and enhancing manufacturing capacity. With a commitment to sustainability, the company utilizes solar power and Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified materials, showcasing its alignment with Chattanooga’s blend of industry and sustainability.
Progress was made on the 140-acre master plan to transform the Wheland Foundry and U.S. Pipe property into a vibrant district featuring a new stadium for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Led by renowned master developer Jim Irwin, the project included new stadium renderings, a recent request for a proposal to design the stadium and plans to incorporate the Chattanooga Riverwalk into the design for pedestrian use and historic preservation.
In an episode of Chamber Chatt, hosted by the Chattanooga Chamber, Dr. Andrea Willis and Sherri Zink from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee discussed their inaugural Health Equity Report, shedding light on the company’s commitment to addressing and promoting health equity. The conversation, led by Sharon Law, Business Development Manager at Thompson Engineering and Public Policy Board Chair, delved into key insights and initiatives outlined in the report.
With more than 150 member businesses being nominated, Chattanooga Zoo, BNI Southeast Tennessee, (Be) Caffeinated, and Master Machine Inc. received top honors at the 2023 Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Awards, with each recognized in different categories for their growth, performance, and community contributions.