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VOL. 42 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 18, 2018

Petoskey to expand in Morristown

Updated 2:57PM
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Petoskey Plastics Inc. officials have announced the company will invest $29.6 million to expand its operation in Hamblen County.

Petoskey plans to create approximately 70 jobs in Morristown over the next five years.

The company is an environmentally-focused film, bag and resin manufacturer, and it supplies the automotive, medical, grocery, retail, packaging and construction industries.

The company will add 30,000 square feet to its existing Morristown manufacturing facility, which specializes in polyethylene film. The investment will increase capacity at the facility, which has multiple extrusion lines utilizing recycled materials, converting lines and a four- color offset paper printing press.

Work on the expansion is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2018, and the first phase of the new expansion will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, Petoskey operates three manufacturing plants across the U.S. and employs more than 400 associates. The company’s customer base includes 30 Fortune 500 companies and businesses in more than 47 countries.

“Our growth has required us to invest in more capital,” says Jason Keiswetter, executive vice president of Petoskey Plastics. “We needed to add additional capacity. The local Morristown government and State of Tennessee have been very easy to work with and helped make our decision to proceed with the expansion in Tennessee.

“We are thrilled with the availability of technical associates. We look forward to completing the building addition in 2018 and continue to add capacity and jobs within the structure for several years to come.”

TVA reports financial update through March

The Tennessee Valley Authority has reported $5.3 billion in operating revenues through the six-month period ending March 31, 2018, a five percent increase from the same period a year ago.

The higher revenues were driven by a six percent increase in electricity sales, primarily due to weather conditions.

During the same six-month period, total operating expenses decreased four percent, as compared to the same period last year, primarily due to decreased fuel expense driven by higher hydro and natural gas generation and lower market prices for natural gas.

“Power demand has been higher so far in 2018 compared to last year’s record warm winter, but our customers are paying less,” says Bill Johnson, TVA president and chief executive officer.

“Higher output from hydro, nuclear and natural gas-fired generation helped keep the Valley warm during cold weather in January while our diversified fleet kept prices lower for TVA’s customers during more moderate temperatures.”

Operating and maintenance expense was down $34 million, or two percent lower, for the first six months of this fiscal year, compared to the same period last year, mostly driven by a decrease in planned nuclear outage days and an increase in workforce efficiencies.

“Higher revenues from the more normal weather this year, and lower operating expenses along with lower interest on debt, contributed to a stronger bottom line,” says John Thomas, TVA chief financial officer.

Powell welcomes PetSmart store

PetSmart has opened a new store in Powell.

The location, 250 E Emory Road, will feature PetSmart’s new Pinnacle Pet Nutrition section, an expanded collection of pet food products featuring high-protein, natural, grain-free, minimally processed and raw pet food.

This food type includes brands such as Only Natural Pet, a natural pet brand featuring holistic, paleo-inspired natural foods and wholesome high-protein recipes that are dehydrated, freeze-dried and air-dried. PetSmart is the exclusive national retailer for Only Natural Pet.

The new store features more than 18,000 square feet of space, providing pet parents with a comprehensive line of pet products. The store also offers useful services such as pet training and adoption services, as well as a full-service grooming salon where dogs and cats receive hands-on care from academy-trained, safety-certified stylists.

Each PetSmart store, including this store in Powell, builds long-lasting relationships with local animal welfare organizations to utilize its stores as adoption centers.

Overlook at Allen Square enters phase II

Dallas-based JMJ Development LLC, builders of luxury real-estate properties, has announced its newest project, Overlook at Allensville Square ll apartments in Sevierville.

The $21.9 million dollar HUD project began construction in January 2018, work is scheduled to be completed by July 2019.

The 144-units are gated and garden style in a six-building, three-story community composed of 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms apartment.

It is located between the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and an interior neighborhood street, just minutes from downtown. Residents will be within 5 miles of schools, shopping, dining and entertainment.

Timothy Barton, CEO of JMJ Development, says, “We are extremely excited to be working in Tennessee and building the second phase of what has been a very successful project in Sevierville. JMJ adds this project to several other multi-family projects it currently has under construction.”

Other features include luxurious clubhouse, resort style pool with deck, children’s playground, business center, car wash, and dog park.

Chicken Salad Chick ramps up expansion

Chicken Salad Chick has opened a new location in Knoxville, its 7th store in the state.

The new restaurant is at 8008 Kingston Pike.

Tennessee expansion will include new stores in Memphis, Spring Hill and Maryville slated to open over the course of the year.

The Knoxville restaurant is owned and operated by Josh Patton of Volunteer Restaurant Concepts.

“When I first walked into the original Chicken Salad Chick restaurant 10 years ago, I knew I stumbled into something special,” says Patton.

AtWork Group opens new major markets

Knoxville-based AtWork Group, a national staffing franchise, has announced plans to open new locations in three major markets across the United States.

Each location will be owned and operated by a current AtWork franchisee with operations in adjacent territories.

Territories in Detroit, Michigan, Northern Kentucky, and Santa Maria, California, have been opened.

The Detroit area location will be operated by Ayers Partners, while the Northern Kentucky location will be operated by W&A Investments, and the Santa Maria location by Professional Personnel Services.

“We’re excited to see AtWork grow into these new markets,” says Jason Leverant, president and COO of AtWork Group. “Each of the new locations will be operated by established AtWork franchisees that strive daily to achieve our mission of being AtWork for You; our clients and employees.’’

The new AtWork locations will offer staffing solutions to businesses in all industries providing quality candidates for administrative, call center, customer service, accounting and light industrial positions. Flexible employment solutions are available including temporary, temp-to-hire, payrolling and full-time placements.

UT, ETCH partner on health think tank

The University of Tennessee and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital have established the Health Innovation Partnership Program to foster collaboration between the hospital and UT’s colleges of engineering, nursing and arts and sciences to improve patient care.

This collaborative “think tank” will allow for UT researchers to use their expertise in executing ideas from health care professionals.

The program has the goal of developing innovations to implement at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and other hospitals with similar goals.

The collaboration will try to improve everything from patient wait times to recovery from surgery.

“Innovative ideas help a hospital run more efficiently,” says Susan Fancher, clinical instructor and simulation director in nursing. “We want to help ETCH make even better impacts on patient lives.

“Some of what the UT team will do is teach simulation best practices. Staff who practice skills in a safe simulated learning environment maintain competencies and work together as a team more effectively.”

Fancher adds that HIPP will focus on two main areas: Helping the hospital define their problems and needs, and helping them learn processes that address those problems and needs.

“It takes partnerships like this to advance the care we provide within our health system,” says Hella M. Ewing, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at ETCH. “Matching experts at the bedside with the experts at HIPP will allow a synergy to develop creative solutions to the problems that are frustrating and impede efficient quality care. The response from the staff, physicians, and leadership has been very positive.”

Xueping Li, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, brings his technological expertise to the project to help develop some of those ideas.

“They have good ideas, but no time,” Li says. “We have the time, research, and students to put their ideas to life.”

Knoxville launches new summer camps

The City of Knoxville has recently revamped its K.O.R.E. Summer Camp, administered by Parks and Recreation.

Standing for Knoxville Outdoor Recreation Experience, the K.O.R.E. Summer Camp is offered to children ages 6 to 12 years old at 10 centers throughout the city. Parks and Recreation is also offering a teen camp for 13- to 15-year-olds at Cal Johnson Recreation Center, 507 Hall of Fame Drive.

This year, the hours will be extended, running Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp starts Monday, June 4, 2018, and runs through Friday, July 27, 2018. There will be no camp the week of July 2-6.

Weekly activities and field trips, include swimming, intramural sports with other community centers, passive activities, art activities and trips to the Tennessee Theatre, Main Event, NASCAR Speedpark, Kentucky Splash Waterpark, and more.

Cost is $20 per child per week. Each center provides a combo of either breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack. Field trip costs are included in the weekly fee. A registration fee ($20 for City residents, $40 for non-residents) is due by June 1, 2018, along with the first week’s fee. A late registration fee will be applied after June 1.