Monthly Archives: June 2012

Knoxville economy 15th on metro recovery index

Knoxville’s economy continues to recover faster than most other metropolitan areas across the country, despite slipping slightly in the latest Brookings Institution rankings released today.

Metropolitan Knoxville’s recovery performance ranks 15th on Brookings’ most recent MetroMonitor index of economic recovery – down from 12th in the previous quarterly index.

The MetroMonitor report ranks the pace of recovery in the 100 largest metro economies based on job creation, unemployment rate, metro economic output and housing prices.

Continue reading

Sea Ray goes jet-powered

Knoxville-based boat maker Sea Ray said today it is partnering with German engine manufacturer Weber Motor to produce a pair of new jet-powered boats.

A 21-foot model featuring the latest in jet propulsion technology will be released this fall. A 24-foot model will soon follow, the company said.

Weber will build the engines and jet propulsion.

Continue reading

Comcast, Verizon Wireless launch joint marketing campaign

Verizon Wireless and Comcast — two of the largest communications companies in the country — announced they will jontly market each other’s services to Knoxville area consumers.

Effective immediately, Knoxville consumers can visit one retail outlet to select video, phone, Internet and wireless services offered by Comcast and Verizon, the companies said.

New and existing customers may qualify for incentives, depending on services selected, the companies said.

Continue reading

Pilot Flying J reaches restaurant milestone

The largest travel center operator in North America is expanding its presence in the restaurant business.0306pilot.MP.jpg

Pilot Flying J recently opened its 300th company owned and operated restaurant and plans to open another 23 restaurants by the end of the year, the Knoxville-based company said Tuesday.

The 300th milestone was reached with the opening of a Huddle House at the company’s travel center in Anna, Texas, on June 11.

Pilot operates the largest travel center network in North America with more than 600 locations.

Continue reading

Kimberly-Clark to slash use of forest wood pulp

Consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark Corp., which has operations in Knoxville and Loudon, said Monday it would reduce by half the amount of wood fiber taken from natural forests to make its products.

The maker of Huggies diapers and Klennex tissues said its goal is to transition to at least 50 percent alternate fiber sources by 2025.

The company, which used nearly 750,000 metric tons of wood fiber in 2011, currently is test marketing tissue products which contain 20 percent bamboo in North America. The company is also test marketing tissue products made in part from wheat straw.

Continue reading

Crushed glass furniture wins business plan competition

Knoxville businessman Mark Wassenaar wants to turn broken beer bottles into flooring, countertops and casual furniture.

Wassenaar’s idea may sound unusual but it won this year’s What’s the Big Idea!? Business Plan Competition sponsored by The Development Corporation of Knox County, Knoxville Chamber and Tech 2020.

“We were impressed by all the entrepreneurs who took part in this competition,” Development Corp. Executive Vice President Todd Napier said in a news release. “Virtuous Products shows an enormous amount of promise and the judges indicated they expect big things from the start-up in the years to come.”

Continue reading

UT report: Sluggish job creation slows recovery

Tennessee’s economy is “marginally healthier” than the national economy, but sluggish job growth continues to be a drag on the state and national economies, according to a report released today by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Nonfarm employment in Tennessee is expected to rise 1.7 percent this year, compared to 1.5 percent growth for the nation, the report says.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate is expected to average 7.8 percent for 2012 and drop to 7. 4 percent next year. The national unemployment rate is expected to average 8.1 percent this year and fall to 7.8 percent in 2013, according CBER’s spring 2012 Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook.

Continue reading

Coaster Con headed for Dollywood

0529_kclo_tourism.JPGHundreds of roller coaster enthusiasts from around the world are headed to Dollywood this weekend for Coaster Con XXXV, the American Coaster Enthusiasts’ 2012 convention.

The event starts Sunday and runs through June 22.

Some 650 coaster lovers are expected to attend, said Pete Owens, media/public relations manager for The Dollywood Co.

Continue reading

Survey: Knoxville 3Q employment outlook healthy

 

Job Openings
Third quarter hiring in metropolitan Knoxville is expected to remain healthy, although it will slow from a strong second quarter pace, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook survey released Tuesday.

Twenty-one percent of Knoxville area employers surveyed said they would add jobs from July to September, while 6 percent said they planned to decrease staff. Seventy-one percent plan to maintain current staff levels.

In the second quarter survey, 25 percent of area employers said they planned to add workers, and 1 percent said they would cut jobs, making Knoxville’s spring “employment outlook the best in the nation,” Manpower reported.

 

Continue reading