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Chamber celebrates local industries

Xavier Smith • May 9, 2017 at 7:52 PM

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce kicked off National Manufacturing Week on Tuesday as it honored one local industry and gained insight from others.

“What we have done this week as a chamber is [Tuesday] morning had our first roundtable. We had about 20 different industries in manufacturing,” said chamber president Melanie Minter.

Michael Moscardelli, chamber economic development committee vice-chair, said the roundtable primarily focused on the results of a survey created by the group.

“We put together a survey just to identify sort of hot button issues for Wilson County industry. The ones that jumped off the page were finding and keeping good people and finding good industrial space,” he said. “We got to get to know each other a bit, and it was a good start. The group wants to get together quarterly, and we’re committed to doing that.”

Minter and Moscardelli said the meeting was a part of a larger effort to better serve industries in Wilson County.

“The chamber, in the past, has done a really good job of reaching out to service and retail business, but hasn’t had much to offer for industry. So, we wanted to broaden the scope and give something of value to the industrial employers in town,” Moscardelli said.

The group picked Bridgestone Firestone to highlight for Industry Appreciation Day. PFP sponsored a luncheon for the center’s mid-shift employees, which was followed by a tour of the plant headed by Steve Clayton, Bridgestone Firestone distribution center manager.

Clayton said the 1 million-square-foot center ships to 14 different states and receives and sends about 30,000-40,000 tires a day. 

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