Kilgore Flares to add around 100 jobs, invest $40M in Hardeman Co. facility

TOONE, Tenn. — Chemring Group announced plans Tuesday to invest $40 million in its Kilgore Flares plant in Toone, creating around 100 new jobs.

“This is a great day in Toone and a great day in Tennessee,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.

Haslam said it is the biggest capital investment in Hardeman County in the last 30 years. “They’re here,” he said. “They’re spending money on other things. They’re getting haircuts and buying meals at restaurants.”

The state said the defense contractor will get new technology plus replace and modernize buildings on its campus.

The company said it will get safer equipment following several incidents where workers were killed or injured. “We are being proactive,” Kilgore Flares President Tank Williams said. “We are continuing to look at things that we learned from those incidents.”

The state said the first phase of this expansion should begin in the third quarter of 2018.

State leaders said the defense contractor considered 12 other states for the project but decided to stay in Hardeman County. “With the state of Tennessee’s help, we won the ballgame,” Hardeman County Mayor Jimmy Sain said.

Hardeman County had a 5 percent unemployment rate in March, the tenth highest in the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“When a company that can locate anywhere chooses here, we think that encourages other companies to say, ‘well, maybe we want to build our product right here in West Tennessee as well,'” Haslam said.

Kilgore expects the expansion to be finished in 2022. Once the upgrade and expansion is complete, state leaders said the company will have about 375 employees in Toone.

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