HomeBusinessChamber: Industry coming to other counties will be good for Jackson, too

Chamber: Industry coming to other counties will be good for Jackson, too

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Economic Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced another significant investment in neighboring Haywood County on June 26.

Enchem America is bringing a manufacturing facility to Brownsville.

Enchem America manufactures electrolytes for EV batteries, and they’ve got a facility in Georgia.

Their investment is $152.5 million in the plant, and it’s set to create 190 jobs.

While the facility won’t be in Jackson and Madison County, Greater Jackson Chamber President Kyle Spurgeon said the Hub City could see some advantages from the nearby new plant.

“First off, we at The Greater Jackson Chamber congratulate everyone involved in bringing Enchem America to Brownsville and West Tennessee,” Spurgeon said. “When we’re talking economic development, the local organizations try not to compete with each other because we know a win for one of us is ultimately a win for all of us.

“And this is another win for Haywood County, which is another win for West Tennessee.”

With Blue Oval City set to bring 5,600 jobs to the region in 2025 and other developments like 6K Energy (230 jobs) and Georgia-Pacific (220 jobs), Spurgeon said the area is on the brink of potential economic prosperity the likes of which it’s never seen before.

But at the same time, these added jobs in such close proximity makes the need for more housing developments even more crucial.

“With all the jobs that are coming to the area, we hope to fill as many of those with a developed workforce already here in the area, but there will be people coming to West Tennessee to live,” Spurgeon said. “So the area needs to be ready for these people to be able to live somewhere.”

Spurgeon has estimated in various public meetings based on studies from other areas in similar situations in the past, that the population of Jackson and Madison County could rise by as much as 13 percent over the next decade, bringing the population of Madison County to more than 110,000.

In a discussion with the Madison County Commission earlier this year, he discussed the needs and trends in housing developments that have gone away from the traditional model of subdivisions with a cluster of homes in an area with not much else there to neighborhoods with not just housing, but other amenities as well like restaurants, grocery stories and green spaces.

He said Jackson Walk is a good example of these types of areas, adding that Madison County could use a few more similar neighborhoods.

The announcement of plans to develop The Crossings at Exum Way in North Jackson fits in with this type of planning.

“All the homes that are planned for that are exactly what Jackson and Madison County needs right now,” Spurgeon said. “Because we’ve got a lot of jobs coming here to Jackson that we know right now, and of course all of the jobs Blue Oval City is bringing with it to Brownsville.

“While all of the economic developers work together to bring industry to West Tennessee as a whole, there is some competition among the different areas to recruit residents to each of our areas. So we do want Jackson to be a place that looks attractive to people working here and people working in Brownsville or Lexington or Bolivar or wherever.”

Spurgeon said housing is a foundational part of that recruitment, but not the only part.

“Our public schools are improving drastically, and our private schools are great too,” Spurgeon said. “We’ve got healthcare, different kinds of entertainment, access to broadband internet and infrastructure already in place to add to what Jackson already has.

“Jackson is already an attractive market for people new to the area to look at possibly living. And it’s really encouraging – like what we saw a few weeks ago with The Crossings at Exum Way – to see all of our local leadership on board as well. Every vote that was needed for that to be approved was unanimous. Everybody is seeing the potential for this area, and we’re all working toward that common goal.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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