Royal Metal Powders to expand workforce by up to 50

On hand to sign the agreement for Royal Metal Powders to expand are, back row from left, County Commission Chairman Ken Melton and President and CEO of the Blount Partnership Bryan Daniels, front from left, Chairman of the Economic Development Board Matt Murray, President of Royal Metals Mike Lutheran and Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell.

On hand to sign the agreement for Royal Metal Powders to expand are, back row from left, County Commission Chairman Ken Melton and President and CEO of the Blount Partnership Bryan Daniels, front from left, Chairman of the Economic Development Board Matt Murray, President of Royal Metals Mike Lutheran and Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell.

In the summer of 2010, the Blount Partnership celebrated when Royal Metal Powders began operations in a former plant in the Littlebrook Industrial Park.

Recently Blount Partnership and county officials visited the company again, this time to celebrate an expansion of the operation that could bring up to 50 additional jobs.

Royal Metal Powders Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Chemet Corp. formed in 2010, has decided to expand the workforce at its new Rockford facility from approximately 20 to 70 positions over the next three to five years, officials announced today.

“We didn’t anticipate the workforce would grow so quickly, but we’ve found a good home here,” said Mike Lutheran, company president. “We’ve found a supportive business environment here with the Blount County economic development team, the State of Tennessee and our local industrial neighbors who are willing to let us get a rail easement into the facility.”

Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership, said the infrastructure work is the only incentive in the package. “It is about $1 million shared between the State of Tennessee and our agency,” Daniels said.

The Partnership president said the state will pick up 73 percent of the cost and the Economic Development Board will cover the rest of the cost.

Lutheran has hired several employees who had been laid off from the nearby Alcoa plant and from the previous facility where Royal Metal Powders is now located.

“We try to hire locally whenever possible,” he said.

Royal Metal Powder’s decision “will generate approximately $5 million in the facility, equipment and infrastructure,” Daniels said.

The Partnership recruited the company to an abandoned plant in Littlebrook Industrial Park in the summer of 2010. “This has been a great project to work on. We brought the company here last July and they continue to exceed their expectations and output expectations and are continuing to grow,” Daniels said. “We feel fortunate to have them and we want to nurture them as an existing industry.”

The facility utilizes water and air atomization technology for production of copper powders, copper alloy powders, pre-alloyed bronze and premixes. The plant is ISO 9001 certified.

Daniels said the ISO 9001 certified plant takes a variety of precious metals and converts those into powders used in electro coating and paints and a variety of plastics.

Lutheran sees a positive future for the Blount County plant.

“With the expansion of our company over the next three to five years, we’re hoping to continue to increase the number of our employees,” he said.

“It’s exciting to bring more jobs and more assets to Blount County,” Daniels said. “We are pleased with the success that Royal Metal Powders is having and the support they have received from the County Mayor Ed Mitchell, County Commission Chairman Ken Melton and our community’s Economic Development Board members. This expansion will continue to help us diversify our local economy.”

“With the creation of new jobs and Royal Metal Powder’s involvement in the community, this is going to be a great partnership for all of Blount County,” said Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell.

For more information about economic development in Blount County, contact Bryan Daniels, bdaniels@blountindustry.com 865-983-7715 or visit www.blountindustry.com.

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