Dale Carnegie Employee Engagement Workshop Series starts Aug. 14

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is pictured above.

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Dale Carnegie of Tennessee to offer a six-workshop series on employee engagement. A discount is available for members of the Chamber and for those who register for all six sessions, a press release said.

The first session will be held on August 14 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Chamber, located at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Session one is titled “How Smart Leaders Create Engaged Employees.” Based on new, groundbreaking research you will learn the three clusters of behaviors that significantly impact engagement.

Then, within each cluster, individual actions will be broken down to help participants develop enthusiastic, empowered, confident, and inspired employees—the type of employees who care, who want to be part of a success story, and who will drive an organization to the top. Learn how to increase productivity and reduce turnover by cultivating a workforce of engaged employees. [Read more...]

SL Tennessee expansion: Largest in industrial employment since World War II

SL Tennessee Expansion Media Availability

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, center, announces 1,000 new jobs as part of an $80.5 million expansion at auto parts manufacturer SL Tennessee in Clinton. Also pictured from left are Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Clinton Mayor Scott Burton, and U.S. Senator Bob Corker.


Note: This story was last updated at 11:30 a.m. July 26.

CLINTON—The 1,000 new jobs announced at SL Tennessee in Clinton on Friday could be the largest expansion of industrial employment in Anderson County since World War II, officials said.

SL Tennessee, an auto parts manufacturer, plans to invest $80.5 million to build a 250,000-square-foot plant on Frank L. Diggs Drive in the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park. It will be SL Tennessee’s LLC third building in the park, and the company’s fifth expansion since locating in Clinton in 2001. The new building will manufacture automobile head lights and tail lamps for General Motors.

The jobs announcement was made in the South Korean company’s Chassis Plant on Friday near workers assembling gear shifters and brake assemblies, mostly for GM. Marking the importance of the announcement, Gov. Bill Haslam was invited to speak and so were U.S. senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

“This is obviously a big day,” said Haslam, who announced the new jobs. “It shows our growth in the automotive business.”

It’s the second announcement of more than 1,000 jobs at an automotive plant in East Tennessee in the past two weeks. Last week, Volkswagen announced a $600 million investment and 2,000 new jobs in Chattanooga. [Read more...]

State, SL Tennessee announce 1,000 new jobs in Clinton


CLINTON—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, along with SL Tennessee LLC officials, announced Friday that the company will build a new 250,000 square foot building to join its two existing facilities in the Clinton/I-75 Industrial Park, a Select Tennessee Certified Site. The South Korean automotive parts manufacturer will invest $80.5 million and create 1,000 new jobs in Anderson County. Located in Clinton since 2001, this will be the company’s fifth expansion.

“I want to congratulate SL Tennessee on its latest expansion and thank the company for the 1,000 new jobs created in Clinton,” Haslam said. “SL Tennessee has been an outstanding corporate citizen in Anderson County for nearly 15 years, and we are grateful to the company for bringing us one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee has the greatest concentration of automotive industry employment in the South and with the addition of 1,000 new jobs from today’s announcement, we continue to build on this momentum,” Hagerty said. “Upon completion of this project, SL Tennessee will more than double its workforce, making it the largest employer in Clinton and one of the largest in Anderson County. I appreciate SL Tennessee’s continued investment in our state and for providing quality jobs to our citizens.”

This is the second 1,000 plus jobs announcement in the past two weeks in the automotive sector. Last week, Volkswagen announced a $600 million investment in Tennessee and 2,000 new jobs being created in Chattanooga. [Read more...]

Haslam, SL Tennessee to make economic development announcement Friday

Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam and executives from SL Tennessee will make a significant economic development announcement in Clinton on Friday, a press release said.

The ceremony starts at 10:15 a.m. Friday at SL Tennessee at 311 Frank L. Diggs Drive.

Others expected to attend include U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker; Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Y.K. Woo, SL America president; Scott Laska, SL Tennessee business development manager; Clinton Mayor Scott Burton; Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank; and other local elected officials.

Methodist ties for fourth in state in best hospital ranking

Methodist Medical Center Entrance at Night

The main entrance to Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge is pictured above at night. (Photo courtesy Covenant Health)


Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge tied for fourth in the state in an annual ranking of America’s best hospitals compiled by U.S. News and World Report.

MMC tied for fourth with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville. Covenant Health’s third major medical center, Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, ranked ninth in Tennessee.

All three were in the Top 10 for metro areas, a press release said. All three were lauded for high performance in a variety of specialties such as gastroenterology and GI surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, and pulmonology, among others. All three hospitals also achieved patient satisfaction levels that are higher than national and state averages.
 [Read more...]

Volkswagen to expand auto plant in Chattanooga, build new SUV

Volkswagen will expand its automotive plant in Chattanooga, the company’s only U.S. manufacturing facility, and build a new midsize SUV for the American market.

Volkswagen’s total global investment for the expansion will be $900 million, and $600 million of that will be invested in Tennessee. The company expects to create 2,000 jobs in Hamilton County.

The announcement was made by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Volkswagen Group of America officials in a Monday morning press release. [Read more...]

Pilot Flying J to pay $92 million for diesel fuel discount deception, cooperate with feds

Federal authorities announced Monday that Pilot Flying J will pay a $92 million penalty and fully cooperate with an ongoing investigation to resolve the company’s criminal liability for fraudulent conduct by employees in deceptively withholding diesel fuel price discounts from hundreds of customers.

Also known as Pilot Travel Centers LLC, Pilot has accepted legal responsibility for the criminal conduct of its employees, which caused more than $56 million in loss to its customers, and agreed to pay full restitution to every victim of the fraud, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a Monday afternoon press release.

Pilot further acknowledged the gravity of its employees’ criminal wrongdoing by agreeing to pay the United States the $92 million monetary penalty—an amount within the fine range recommended by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the press release said.

“The agreement also expressly states that it provides no protection from prosecution to any individual, and moreover, imposes a continuing obligation on Pilot to provide complete cooperation with the ongoing federal investigation of current and former Pilot employees relating to fraudulent conduct involving the sale of diesel fuel,” the release said.

Pilot must also periodically report to the United States what it has done to ensure that a system of internal accounting controls and other compliance procedures have been established to prevent fraudulent conduct from occurring again in the sale of diesel fuel. In the event Pilot materially breaches its obligations under the Criminal Enforcement Agreement, Pilot has agreed that the United States may file the criminal information, attached to the agreement, and will not contest the allegations in that charging document. [Read more...]

Beat the heat with cool summer eats, help ADFAC

ADFAC Dine and Donate at Riverview Grill

With an expansive view of the Clinch River, Riverview Grill features a variety of family-friendly menu items such as barbeque, burgers, seafood, and much more, a press release said. (Submitted photo)



With daily temperatures averaging around 90, we could all use some relief from the heat. Why not treat yourself to a feel-good meal?

On Monday, July 14, five local restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to support Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, or ADFAC.

Officially launched last October, “Dine and Donate” is a year-long event, with different restaurants participating on the second Monday of each month. Monday’s participating restaurants are:

  • Hoskins in Clinton,
  • Papa Murphy’s in Oak Ridge (please use the register marked for ADFAC),
  • Razzleberry’s in Oak Ridge,
  • Riverview Grill in Clinton, and
  • Subway in Clinton (both), Lake City, Oak Ridge (Four Oaks Center), and Oliver Springs.

[Read more...]

Stuart, Stribley receive DOE Small Business Program awards

Cassandra McGee Stuart

Cassandra McGee Stuart

Two Oak Ridge National Laboratory staff members have received DOE Small Business Awards under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Secretarial Small Business Awards Program.

Cassandra McGee Stuart is the recipient of the Facility Management Contractor Small Business Program Manager of the Year award. McGee Stuart manages ORNL’s Small Business Programs, which identifies qualified firms to establish business relationships with UT-Battelle, which manages ORNL for DOE.

LeAnne Stribley

LeAnne Stribley

LeAnne Stribley, director of ORNL’s Acquisition Management Services, won the DOE Mentor award through her involvement in the ORNL Mentor Protégé Program. The mentor-protégé program guides small businesses in performing subcontracts at ORNL and helps the small businesses improve their company infrastructure through marketing plans, onsite training and business plans.

Stuart and Stribley are both Knoxville residents. The awards were for Fiscal Year 2013.

ORAU promotes Kistner to director of Office of Quality

Kristy Kistner

Kristy Kistner

New director has more than 16 years of quality assurance and project management expertise

Oak Ridge Associated Universities has named Kristy Kistner director of its Office of Quality. In this position, Kistner will direct and coordinate the quality management system and quality assurance across ORAU, including responsibility for maintenance of ORAU’s ISO 9001 registration and compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy contractor assurance requirements.

Kistner has more than 10 years of quality assurance and project management experience at ORAU, a press release said. She had been serving as the project manager for the Office of Quality, where she was instrumental in ORAU attaining its ISO 9001 certification. She also managed quality management system initiatives, conducted quality assessments, led assessment teams, and ensured compliance with regulatory and contractual requirements relative to quality. [Read more...]

ORAU receives DOE Small Business Award for work under ORISE contract

ORAU Small Business Award

Pictured above, from left to right, are Heidi Timmerman, director of Procurement and Contracts Administration, and Rebecca Crowe, Small Business advocate, both with ORAU, receiving the Facility Management Contractor Small Business Achievement of the Year Award for fiscal year 2013 from John Hale III, director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for DOE. (Photo courtesy ORAU)

The U.S. Department of Energy has presented Oak Ridge Associated Universities with its Facility Management Contractor Small Business Achievement of the Year award for Fiscal Year 2013. The award recognizes ORAU’s subcontracting achievements with small business suppliers used to support work performed under the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education contract that ORAU manages for DOE.

In FY13, ORAU committed to awarding 69 percent of its subcontracts in support of ORISE work to small businesses, and it exceeded that goal when more than 80 percent of subcontracts were awarded to small businesses.

According to DOE’s website, the award winner “recognizes the tangible, annual, organizational results of a DOE facilities management contract. These results are measured in terms of dollars and percentage increases in small business procurement activity as well as policies, programs, and procedures that promote small business use.”

“We are honored to receive this recognition from DOE for our efforts in providing opportunities for small businesses to work with us on critical DOE projects,” said ORAU Chief Executive Officer Andy Page. “We believe very strongly that small businesses are crucial to fueling a strong economy and in building this nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.” [Read more...]

Honors: Retired Powell-Clinch VP receives Silver Flame Award

Richard McIntosh and Family

Richard McIntosh, recipient of the Tennessee Gas Association Silver Flame Award, with his wife Joan and their family. (Photo courtesy PCUD)


Powell-Clinch Utility District Vice President Emeritus Richard McIntosh was awarded the Tennessee Gas Association’s 2014 Silver Flame Award, the state natural gas industry’s highest honor. The award is in recognition of McIntosh’s distinguished service, community involvement, and pioneering efforts in the state gas industry during his 41-year career. McIntosh retired from PCUD in 2013 after 28 years of service. Under his leadership, PCUD grew from 3,500 customers to more than 17,000, a press release said.

The Tennessee Gas Association represents the state’s gas utilities, pipelines, and affiliates who provide natural gas service to more than 1.2 million customers in Tennessee. TGA’s mission is to promote the value and growth of the natural gas industry in Tennessee by enhancing the overall performance, safety, competitiveness, and public awareness of its members and their products and services.

“PCUD congratulates Richard McIntosh for receiving the state gas industry’s most prestigious award and extends its heartfelt thanks to McIntosh for his leadership, vision, dedication, and hard work for PCUD and its customers,” the release said.