CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Bridgestone Metalpha said they are planning a $75 million expansion to its site in Clarksville, creating 45 jobs.
The location, the U.S. corporate headquarters for steel cord production, currently has 418 employees plus 46 contractors on site. The company will add 123,000 square feet of space to the plant.
"Starting the first quarter of 2012 we will begin preparation to expand our facility," said Bridgeston Metalpha President Masami Kikuchi.
Bridgestone is adding 36 hourly and 9 salaried employees. They will build a thick steel cord which will be shipped to another Bridgestone plant and used to make the tires.
"This is our current steel cord and we will continue to make this. This is for regular truck bus radials passenger tires. So you can see that off road radials are much larger. Much, much larger," said worker Donna Bright.
Economic development officials in Clarksville said the company has an average wage that exceeds the state's per capita income by 40 percent.
Construction on the new part of the facility will begin early next year.
It will take the plant three years to retool and start producing the cord. So, it will be 2015 before they start producing the product.
This is the third expansion at the plant in 15 years.
Meanwhile, Bridgestone Americas Inc. officials said the tire company is investing $1.2 billion total in three projects in Aiken County, South Carolina, creating more than 850 jobs by 2020.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday's announcement is the largest initial capital investment by a company in South Carolina history.
Bridgestone said it will build its new 1.5 million-square-foot radial tire plant in phases, plus expand its existing light truck tire plant by 474,000 square feet. Completion of the new plant is expected in 2020.
Those projects are in addition to the announcement in July to add 266,000 square feet to Bridgestone's current plant.
The value of the announcement eclipses Boeing's promise in 2009 to bring $750 million to the state. But the aerospace company also promised 3,800 jobs with its facility in North Charleston.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)