An independent study just released shows that ALCOA Inc. has a $4.7 billion economic impact on East Tennessee every year.
The study focused on ALCOA’s East Tennessee Operations, which include facilities in Blount, Knox and Hamblen counties. Through its direct and indirect impact, the study indicates ALCOA supports more than 12,000 jobs and generates $48.3 million in state and local tax revenues.
“We have multiple operations in this area because we know it’s a good place to do business,” said Geoff Cromer, ALCOA’s vice president of U.S. primary metals.
“Frankly, we didn’t know how much impact we had on the region, that’s why we commissioned the study. We’re obviously pleased to know that ALCOA operations end up creating so many jobs and so much income.”
Economic consulting firm Younger Associates conducted the research and prepared the economic impact study for ALCOA. The Jackson, Tenn.-based research firm has worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Sea Ray Boats, FedEx and the Jobs Now! program.
“We’ve always toyed around with our economic impact,” said ALCOA spokeswoman Melissa Copelan, “but we had never calculated it before this.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever been able to quantify the local impact.”The study examined the overall impact of ALCOA Tennessee Operations as well as the impact of each individual facility located in the region. It includes the value of goods produced at ALCOA’s manufacturing facilities and the annual operating costs of its business unit headquarters and administrative offices.In Tennessee, ALCOA employs 2,463 people — 1,668 of them in Blount County.
Since 1918, ALCOA has been somewhat synonymous with the town north of Maryville bearing its name. In addition to manufacturing and production facilities, ALCOA also has administrative and power generation facilities in Blount County.
According to the study, Blount County operations of ALCOA employes 1,668 individuals and more than 4,000 other jobs exist across other industries because of activities related to the company. Combined, the jobs account for more than $340 million as a result of ALCOA’s Blount County presence. The report says ALCOA’s total Blount County economic impact is in excess of $3 billion.“Clearly, the financial impact we have on the region is significant,” said Malcolm Murphy, location manager for ALCOA’s Rigid Packaging Division. “What the numbers fail to reveal is our reliance on the local community to make us viable for the long-term.“What started in the 1900s as the quintessential ‘company town’ has evolved and matured into a ‘community town’ where Blount Countians fully appreciate that we can achieve more as neighbors than we ever could alone.”Don Mull, mayor of the city of Alcoa, said, “ALCOA has been a huge part of Blount County and our progress for almost 100 years. We’re confident the next 100 years will be just as successful.”
Knox CountyALCOA’s worldwide metal trading operations and Primary Metals business headquarters are based in Knox County. The office employs 149 people, while more than 120 other jobs across all industries exist because of activity related to the company’s Knoxville activities.Knox operations include everything from worldwide metal trading and information technology to managing a steamship line delivering materials and products as well as the corporate energy group. Combined, these jobs were paid more than $28 million. The total annual economic impact in Knox County is in excess of $93 million.“ALCOA not only helps our economy through its operations here, but they also help prove that you can successfully conduct business worldwide from downtown Knoxville,” said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.“ALCOA’s corporate presence in Knox County is significant — more so than most realize. We appreciate the company’s commitment to our community and to East Tennessee.”
Hamblen CountyALCOA Power and Propulsion operates an investment casting support facility in Hamblen County. The plant employs 646 people, while more than 500 other jobs exist because of the site. Combined, these jobs were paid more than $46 million. The total annual economic impact in Hamblen County is in excess of $59 million.“Hamblen County has been a great place to do business,” said Plant Manager Matt Kilgore. “In just the past few years, we’ve been able to expand our business — recently completing a 16,000 square feet expansion — and added more than 300 people to our workforce.“That growth allows us to respond to current and future demands in the aerospace market.”
Economic Impact Study
If the significant impact that ALCOA has on the regional economy has not been fully recognized, it may be partly due to a lack of awareness regarding the company’s full range of operations. The economic study helps provide state and local policy makers with an understanding of the economic significance of ALCOA’s operations.
“The methodology in this study is recognized and used by the International Economic Development Council,” says Younger Associates President Sharon Younger. “Over the years, our approach has proven to be highly accurate and even slightly conservative in projecting tax revenue generation.”
Economic models used in the research were based on county-specific data such as local tax rates, state tax rates, historical collection ratios, annual average wage rates, and historical spending patterns.
ALCOA is the world’s leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry.
ALCOA serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of ALCOA’s businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings. ALCOA also markets ALCOA wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings and building systems.
The company has 116,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The economic impact study will be formally announced at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.