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Posted March 2003

Walter E. Cisowski, president and CEO of Appliance Controls Group, has announced a new project that will bring 200 jobs to the Chattanooga region. The company, which will operate locally under the name Harper-Wyman, manufactures components for gas ranges and grills. The new operation will be located in the Bonnyshire Industrial Park, where Harper-Wyman has leased a 124,000 square foot building. Initially, the company will invest approximately $3 million in the project with an additional investment of $1 million during each of the next four years.

"We are so pleased to grow our presence in the Chattanooga area," Cisowski said. "We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with this community."

Currently, Harper-Wyman operates a 30-person manufacturing facility in Ooltewah as well as much larger manufacturing facilities in Illinois and Mexico. The new project will consolidate the Ooltewah plant and the manufacturing operation currently located in Princeton, Illinois.

"We are delighted that Harper-Wyman has chosen to expand its operations in Tennessee, creating 200 quality new jobs," said Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber. "We appreciate their continued investment in our state and look forward to working with them as they continue to grow here."

According to Cisowski, the company considered locations in Mexico, Georgia, Alabama, and other parts of Tennessee before choosing the site in Hamilton County. "One of the things that attracted us to this area was the large concentration of appliance manufacturers," Cisowski said. "These companies are our customers and being close to them increases our efficiency and gives us the opportunity to be even more responsive to their needs."

Cisowski also cited the work ethic of the local workforce, the training programs available through Chattanooga State, and quality of life as other major factors that made Chattanooga stand out from other communities.

According to Tom Edd Wilson, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, recruiting the company was a team effort. "We thank Harper-Wyman for choosing Chattanooga." Wilson said. "I also want to recognize everyone who helped us put our best foot forward in this effort. Thanks to the partnership of the state, county, and city leadership, combined with important contributions by Chattanooga State and the EPB, we were able to offer Harper-Wyman strong support for locating their facility here."

Claude Ramsey, county executive of Hamilton County, said, "Welcoming Harper-Wyman to Hamilton County is a particular pleasure because we lost about 50 jobs from this very location when Gem Products closed last month. How wonderful it is to announce that we are getting those jobs back plus 150 more."

"Over the past two years our community has worked hard to put in place those components necessary for attracting new business and industry," said Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker. "I am so excited that those efforts are paying off, and that even in a down national economy, Harper-Wyman has made the decision to bring 200 jobs to our city."

With a 50% domestic market share for the products it makes, Harper-Wyman is an industry leader in the manufacture of components for gas ranges and grills. The new facility will house manufacturing operations as well as a sales team, product testing lab, and an application engineering department.

Michael Reid of Binswanger was the sole broker in the lease arrangement between Harper-Wyman and Dillard Limited Partnership, which owns the Bonnyshire Industrial Park.

About the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce is the leading business and economic development organization for the Chattanooga region. For over 100 years, the Chattanooga Chamber has provided community engagement and opportunities for businesses, large and small, including networking, business promotion, business discounts, and public policy advocacy, as well as leadership development and training opportunities.

In addition, the Chattanooga Chamber is a one-stop-shop for site selectors and business decision-makers considering investments and job creation projects in the Chattanooga region. The Chattanooga Chamber is also responsible for marketing Enterprise South Industrial Park, a top-tier industrial park that offers significant strategic business advantages. In addition, the Chattanooga Chamber administers the Chattanooga Hamilton County Business Development Center, the largest business incubator in the U.S. in terms of the number of start up companies it houses, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Growth, an innovative effort to nurture technology-based start-up companies.

As the first stop for people interested in moving to the Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Chamber provides a range of relocation information including demographics, informational videos, connections to Chattanooga Area jobs, and frequently asked questions.