MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee offered $500 million in incentives for the creation of a $5.6 billion campus where Ford Motor Co. plans to build electric F-Series pickup trucks at the Memphis Regional Megasite industrial complex, Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday.
The Republican governor spoke with reporters after Ford and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation formally announced the Blue Oval City project. The assembly plant will be built at the megasite about 50 miles east of Memphis, near the small town of Stanton in rural Haywood County.
Lee said the proposed incentive package would be split between the two companies based on the jobs each creates. Clawback provisions are included in the incentive package to “make certain that that agreement holds for the years into the future.”
Lee plans to call a special legislative session soon to approve the incentive deal.
“We created what we thought was a very attractive incentive,” Lee said.
The project is expected to create about 5,800 new jobs at the West Tennessee megasite, which has seen millions of dollars in infrastructure investments but has failed to land a major tenant. Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, said the Ford complex will also bring about 33,000 construction jobs with a payroll of about $1.8 billion.
Once the plants are running, Rolfe said there will be about 27,000 direct and indirect jobs with another $1.8 billion per year of payroll. All in, the complex will add about $3.5 billion per year to Tennessee’s gross domestic product, a measure of its economic output.
Lee also announced that the state and Ford would build a career and technical school to train auto workers on the 4,000-acre (1,620-hectare) site.
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology will provide training focused on electric vehicle and battery manufacturing and repair, with the curriculum concentrating on engineering and auto mechanics, Lee said.
Tennessee currently funds 27 applied technology colleges in the state.