Paris, Tenn.—A Henry County official is addressing negative claims regarding the county’s economy that have been made during the current campaign season.
Henry County’s business and employment outlook is positive, according to David Hamilton, CEO of the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee.
“Contrary to what some people are claiming, Henry County has many job openings, more jobs are coming and recruitment of new ones continues”, according to Hamilton.
“All in all, I would have to say the job outlook for our county is strong,” he said.
During this campaign season, he said he has heard a lot of discussions about the need for new industries and jobs in Henry County. He said it has been said that not enough is being done to bring new industry and jobs to the county.
First, he addressed the perceived need for jobs.
“Presently, there are over 160 unfilled positions available at local industries and Henry County Medical Center,” Hamilton said. “These are good paying jobs with benefits like health insurance, dental, retirement, etc… And yet these companies cannot find people to fill these open positions. It is difficult to attract new industry to your community when you don’t have the skilled and available labor force to support the existing companies.”
He said those figures do not include the open positions at the local retail stores, hotels, restaurants, medical businesses, which have “help wanted” signs around town. Being conservative, he said there are in excess of 200 unfilled positions currently available in Henry County.
And new jobs are coming to Henry County, according to Hamilton.
“Tosh Farms is adding 120 jobs over the next five years and investing $65 million into their operations in Henry,” he said. “Revel Enterprises is going to occupy the spec building, adding 65 jobs and a $3 million investment. Eurotranciatura is looking to expand their operations and create about 65 new jobs and an investment of $5 million.
“We are currently working with an unnamed company out of Kentucky that plans to build a new facility in Henry County and create about 60 new jobs. Another unnamed local company is looking to build a new facility and add 35 new jobs. Add all of these up and we have over 280 new jobs coming to Henry County over the next few years.”
He said that does not include the jobs created due to new retail and service businesses locating in Henry County. Adding the open/unfilled positions and potential new jobs coming, he said the county is looking at well over 500 new jobs over the next few years.
“While we continue our efforts to locate new industries in Henry County, our most pressing need is to develop and train a labor force to fill the jobs we currently have and will be available in the future,” Hamilton said. “To that end, our local elected leadership was successful in locating a branch of Jackson State Community College to Henry County, providing higher education opportunities to citizens.
“And we are also working with local businesses and the Henry County School System to develop a new Work Ethic Certificate at Henry County High School.”