Hundreds of jobs expected to open up as companies move to ETX - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hundreds of jobs expected to open up as companies move to ETX

Goodyear Tyler Plant. January 2012. Goodyear Tyler Plant. January 2012.

The economic outlook of East Texas grows stronger as two major companies take the next steps toward planting their roots in Smith County, and they're bringing with them hundreds of jobs.

Tuesday, Smith County Commissioners approved the zoning and abatement contracts necessary for Scotts Miracle-Gro, a landscaping and lawn care product manufacturer, to move into part of the former Tyler Goodyear plant.

Scotts Miracle-Gro plans on moving in and bringing with them about 30 jobs. Some of those jobs are part time and seasonal jobs.

But, Tyler Economic Development President and CEO Tom Mullins says their impact won't stop there.

"They also are going to need truck drivers and other vendors that are going to supply them. Plus, they'll be buying mulch and discarded biomass from sawmills and logging operations all over East Texas," he says.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Dave Swihart, says, "We couldn't be more excited about coming to Texas."

"We are committed to the future here in Tyler and look forward to becoming an active and valued community partner," he says.

When Scott Miracle-Gro closes the deal, they'll only be using a quarter of the roughly 1 million square foot property. However, Mullins says property owners are working to make the facility more appealing, so in the future multiple businesses could work out of the one location.

"We see that whole 150 acres becoming another business industrial part of Tyler," Mullins says.

"Scotts is just the anchor tenant that looks like they're going to go there," he adds.

Wednesday, Mullins says the Tyler City Council will work to complete negotiations with Centene Corporation. The medical insurance group, from St. Louis, is opening a new claims center in Tyler and bringing with them more than 300 jobs.

Mullins says over the last four to five years East Texas has seen jobs shift to different sectors. He says the number of manufacturing jobs at places like Goodyear, Carrier, Tyler Pipe and Trane have decreased.

"We're shifting to different sectors. With Scotts Miracle-Gro we have processing and distribution. Centene is data processing and claims service," Mullins says.

Mullins says that between those two companies, Smith County will start to get back almost 400 of the jobs that they've lost in other sectors over the past few years.

"You have to constantly be trying to attract new job opportunities because existing companies are going to come and go. You're going to lose jobs. So, if you're not working hard to replace them, you fall backward," he says.

Scotts Miracle-Gro has not yet said when they'll be accepting job applications for the Tyler facility.

However, Centene Corporation is accepting job applications online. To apply, visit the job search page on their web site, select "Texas" from the drop-down menu and click on "Future Full-time Employment in Tyler" to submit your application.

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