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3M’s $470M addition to Clinton plant could bring up to 600 jobs

The 3M Company’s filtration-products division plans to spend about $470 million to expand its manufacturing plant in Clinton’s Eagle Bend Industrial Park, adding up to 600 jobs at the site by 2025, the company and state officials have announced.

3M has been working on the expansion plans for nearly two years, having obtained its first building permit from the city of Clinton for the project in March 2020 for a total of $16.5 million.

The sprawling 772,000-square-foot plant, which 3M purchased for $14.4 million on a 160-acre site at 400 J.D. Yarnell Industrial Parkway in December 2014, had about 125 employees as of late 2019.

Company officials have not publicly given a head count for the plant’s workforce since then, but obviously the massive expansion announced last week will more than triple the job numbers as last reported.

3M took over the building and property formerly used as a Food Lion distribution center, and went on to get a total of $120.5 million in building permits for building expansions and renovations for use as a manufacturing facility.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and 3M Company officials made a joint announcement of the new expansion in Nashville.

The delay in announcing the expansion plans from when the most-recent building permits began to be issued in March 2020 were in part because Minnesota-based 3M was working with the state to secure tax and training incentives from the governor’s office and the Economic and Community Development department.

The COVID-19 pandemic also is believed to have played a role in the delay.

Andy Wallace, president of the Anderson County Economic Development Association, said in April 2020 that the company was “in the middle of an expansion.”

“We are working with them to help out with some state and local [financial] incentives,” Wallace said at the time. “They are going to be making an announcement about it when they get their incentives from the state.”

That announcement noted that as part of the Clinton expansion, 3M “plans to invest in two of its fast-growing product lines: Filtrete air filters and Command adhesive strips.”

“The additional investments and jobs will help 3M increase capacity and reduce manufacturing cycle time to be more responsive to growing consumer demand,” the announcement said. “In addition, the investment will improve sustainability by replacing plastic packaging with more renewable packaging such as paperboard.”

The announcement also noted that “3M is a proud community partner, supporting local activities with Junior Achievement [and] Habitat for Humanity, as well as partnering with the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce to provide supplies to schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the county.”

“The talented people in East Tennessee, the partnership from the state government, and the flexibility of our manufacturing facility create an ideal environment for additional investment in Clinton,” said Mike Roman, 3M’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The continued demand for innovative new 3M products, especially for home improvement, makes us optimistic about our growth in Clinton.”

Local officials were quick to praise 3M’s decision to expand here.

“I am proud and extremely thankful 3M chose to grow their business in Anderson County with the help of our incredible local workforce,” said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank. “This exciting expansion is a testament to the commitment by our state and local economic development teams to assist existing industries.”

Clinton Mayor Scott Burton also commented, saying: “The city of Clinton welcomes the 3M expansion and their continued investment into our community. The 500-plus high-quality jobs in Clinton will be a positive impact for the citizens of Anderson County and the region. 3M’s decision to expand their facility in our community demonstrates our business-friendly climate, skilled workforce, and dedication to growing and retaining our industry partners.”

Details of the state and local financial incentives promised to 3M in return for the expansion were not immediately available to the media.

3M Co. was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.

It is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Today, according to its website, “more than 60,000 3M products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries.”

Probably its most-recognizable brand is Scotch-brand tape.