General Motors says it is investing $350 million and will create and retain at least 1,800 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
While the automaker isn’t saying what new vehicles will be made at the plant, GM announced Tuesday that it will add two midsize vehicle programs to the facility, making good on a promise to the United Auto Workers union during negotiations in 2011.
The Tennessean reports that some analysts have suggested the vehicles might be the Cadillac SRX, which is currently made in Mexico, and the Buick Anthem, which GM has in development. The Spring Hill plant served as the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand before production was halted in 2009.
The UAW says the jobs generated by the new auto production will be filled mainly by local hires, as opposed to the union’s normal practice of transferring displaced workers from other areas.
The news comes on the heels of a recent report showing Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
Bick Boyte plops a 1-pound bullfrog in his aluminum canoe, still half alive. He resumes his kneeling position, perched upfront, on the hunt for a big bellower. Boyte hears the "wom, wom, wom" and knows frogs are within reach.
Boyte and Tommy Peebles have been "gigging" Tennessee ponds together since their daddies first taught them. Boyte now owns a truck dealership. Peebles is a real estate lawyer. But in the warm moonlight, they revert to their boyhoods. Peebles does the paddling.
Some early results released from a Vanderbilt University study on the impact of pre-K education show a mixed bag. The findings so far indicate that Tennessee children who make big gains in math, reading, and language by attending pre-kindergarten don’t stay ahead of their peers for long.
But the research also shows those same children can learn other behaviors that benefit them down the road.
The Tennessean reports that Vanderbilt University researchers are counseling patience regarding the unprecedented study, which follows 3,000 Tennessee children from age 4 through third grade, through the year 2015.
One early takeaway from the study: students who attend preschool are promoted from kindergarten to first grade at twice the rate of those who don’t, and have higher first grade attendance. Researchers are wondering whether those kinds of achievements are actually better predictors of long-term academic success, as opposed to focusing solely on a child’s early academic abilities.
Residents opposed to a Tennessee mosque are trying to take their case to the state Supreme Court. The Tennessean reports the plaintiffs are hoping the high court will hear the case and overrule a Tennessee Appeals Court decision in late May.
That ruling supported a decision by the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission to approve construction plans for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.
Some mosque opponents said they opposed the new facility because it would cause traffic problems, while others said the Muslims worshipping in the mosque were attempting to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Islamic law.
A local Chancellor ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2012, saying the county failed to provide adequate public notice before the planning commission approved the mosque plans. But a federal court in Tennessee later intervened, overruling the Chancellor’s decision and allowing the construction to move forward.
Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
Economic development publication Business Facilities has released its annual ranking, showing Tennessee the top state.
Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty called the ranking "an impressive distinction" and said expansions and relocations by automotive manufacturers like General Motors, Nissan, and Volkswagen, and Magneti Marelli further solidify the state's position globally.
With the auto plants and those of their suppliers, there are more than 900 automotive plants in the state. In fiscal 2012-2013, 44 automotive projects created 6,662 new jobs in Tennessee and investments totaled close to $1.1 billion.