Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty joined with Unilever officials last week to announce the company’s expansion of operations at its Covington facility. Plans include facility and site improvements for an 11,000 square foot engine room expansion and a 90,000 square foot parking lot expansion resulting in an investment of $108.7 million and the addition of 428 new full-time positions over a four-year period. Upon completion of the project, Unilever expects to have a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees in Covington.
“I want to congratulate Unilever on this significant announcement and thank the company for its continued investment in Covington and Tipton County. “Part of our Jobs4TN strategy focuses on expanding companies already conducting business in the state, and today’s expansion announcement is another step toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Haslam said.
“Unilever has played a key role in the corporate landscape of West Tennessee for more than a decade, and I am pleased with the company’s plans to expand in Covington. “In addition to our ideal location and unbeatable transportation infrastructure, Tennessee boasts the best balance sheet in the nation, which is tremendous when international companies, like Unilever, seek to locate or expand in our state. I appreciate Unilever’s decision to continue to invest in Tennessee and its quality workforce,” Hagerty said.
Unilever’s expansion of its Covington facility optimizes the positive economic, environmental and social benefits of the facility’s location to sustainably produce ice cream and frozen novelty items.
“Investing in sustainable manufacturing is an important part of Unilever’s strategy of investing back for growth in America. “Through the expansion and upgrade in Covington we are creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, enabling Unilever to sustainably and responsibly grow our U.S. ice cream business. We are excited about what this investment means for both the local community and for Unilever,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said.
Unilever’s Covington facility, located at 2000 Hwy. 51 N., specializes in the production of ice cream and frozen novelty items for brands such as Breyers, Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle. In addition to facility and parking lot improvements, the expansion will allow increased production capacity of the existing company-owned ice cream novelty and frozen dessert factory and the purchase of new machinery and equipment for additional production lines.
“I am extremely pleased that Unilever has chosen to further expand operations in Covington. The additional jobs will result in an economic boost for the area and more specifically for the individuals that fill the new positions. “I look forward to many years of mutual success for Unilever and the city of Covington,” Covington City Mayor David Gordon said.
“Unilever’s latest investment in the state of Tennessee continues to provide further evidence of their confidence in the strong business environment of Tipton County and the city of Covington. “We value the outstanding partnership with the local community now and into the future,” Tipton County Executive Jeff Huffman said.
“TVA and Covington Electric System are pleased to be a partner on the economic development team with the state of Tennessee, city of Covington, Tipton County and HTL Advantage to help facilitate Unilever’s major expansion that brings jobs and prosperity to Covington and the West Tennessee area,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, refreshments, home and personal care products with sales in over 190 countries. Unilever was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies” and is ranked in the Fortune Global 500.