Distressed Tennessee County Attracts Textile Startup Promising 1,000 Jobs | Nashville Public Radio

Distressed Tennessee County Attracts Textile Startup Promising 1,000 Jobs

Jul 24, 2017

One of Tennessee's most economically distressed counties has landed a startup textile manufacturer that says it will create 1,000 jobs. Textile Corporation of America is opening up shop in Pikeville.

Bledsoe County on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau has some of the lowest average incomes in the state at just $12,000 per year. Economic development officials have been focused on recruiting jobs to these depressed areas as unemployment is at all-time lows in most of the state. The goal is to have no distressed counties by 2025.

See: A map of Tennessee's economically distressed counties

"It has been a long time coming, and we want to thank everyone for their hard work and not giving up on bringing jobs to our area,” Pikeville Mayor Philip Cagle says in a statement.

Textile Corporation of America, which only incorporated in June, is owned by Chattanooga developer Ed Cagle — no relation to the mayor. His mill is expected to produce industrial apparel and linens for hospitals, hotels and kitchens.

The company values its investment at $27 million — which would make it the largest private investment in Bledsoe County's history. The state has offered incentives, though officials won't confirm the amount.