News Column

CLARCOR to bring research facility, $10 million in investment to Columbia

June 19, 2014

By Kate Coil, The Daily Herald, Columbia, Tenn.

June 19--A Franklin-based filtration company announced Wednesday it will open a new research facility in Columbia, investing $10 million in the area and creating 35 new jobs in the next five years.

CLARCOR Inc., an international manufacturer of filtration products, systems and services, has agreed to acquire a 62,250-square foot facility at 2203 Oakland Parkway to conduct research and product development, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said.

The CLARCOR Innovation Center will include research laboratories, pilot and semi-works lines, a center for nanofiber production and a learning center to educate and showcase to customers, new employees and shareholders, he said. The facility will house research scientists, engineers and the Advanced Filtration Solutions group.

CLARCOR Senior Vice President of Growth and Innovation Paul Marold said the talent pool in Middle Tennessee along with the facilities available in Columbia drew them to the area.

"About a third of our business is related to transportation, and a lot of the development at the innovation center will be filtering for the heavy-duty locomotive, automotive and aerospace industry," Marold said. "One of the emphases we heard from everyone in Columbia was the strong work ethic of the community. It has a great proximity to our headquarters, which makes the facility accessible to our shareholders, management team and our customers."

The company has 40 facilities around the world, including international locations in Australia, England, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, Morocco, Bahrain, China and Malaysia, Marold said.

Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey said CLARCOR's facility will open new doors for the city.

"We are just honored that CLARCOR is locating their operations in the city of Columbia and Maury County," he said. "It's exciting for people to have an opportunity to be involved in our community, especially with their history."

The facility also will offer new job opportunities for city residents, he said.

"It gives our workforce another choice and gives those people who are qualified another option," he said. "With Columbia State and their reputation for putting students in the workforce, CLARCOR is a natural fit for our area."

The Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance played a key role in CLARCOR's decision to open in Columbia, Dickey said.

"As mayor, I am very excited for them being here and for our citizens," Dickey said. "We are grateful for the Maury Alliance and all the efforts they put forth to make this a reality. The city wants to do everything to make CLARCOR successful. Our door is always open to them as it is our other businesses."

MCCEA President Wil Evans said having a new industry opening its doors will provide more opportunities for both Columbia and Maury County.

"This project offers a great opportunity to diversify our local economy and offer different job opportunities to the city of Columbia and Maury County," he said. "We hope to tap into them as a great resource for the community."

Evans said he hopes similar companies will also begin to take notice of what is available in Maury County.

"We are hopeful this project will be the spark to illustrate to similar companies that Maury County and Columbia are a great place for businesses such as this," he said. "They can be as successful here as they can be anywhere."


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Source: Daily Herald (Columbia, TN)

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