City of Brownsville Mayor Rawls Continues to Look Towards the Future with Megasite and TCAT Announcements

Brownsville — Even as the City of Brownsville continues to complete its revitalization projects, Mayor William “Bill” Rawls, Jr. is praising the efforts of Tennessee leaders, like him, who have a vision for the future of those who live in Tennessee, especially those who call West Tennessee home.

Monday night, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Ford Motor Company had selected the Memphis Regional Megasite for one of the largest battery and vehicle manufacturing campuses in the U.S. According to a new release from Lee’s office, Ford and SK Innovation will invest $5.6 billion to build a 3,600-acre mega campus called Blue Oval City on the Memphis Regional Megasite, where production of next generation all-electric F-Series trucks will begin in 2025. The project will result in the creation of 5,800 new jobs in West Tennessee.

“I want to thank Gov. Lee, Commissioner Rolfe and the entire ECD (TN Dept. of Economic and Community Development) team for bringing this great opportunity to West Tennessee, Rawls said. “As we move forward and work for future generations, we not only want to create a space with Brownsville being a good place to live, but a great place to work, live, raise your family and to thrive for generations to come.”

Rawls added, “I also want to thank Ford,” “I want to thank them for making an investment in the future, not only with West Tennessee, Brownsville and Haywood County, but the entire planet by creating electric vehicles, clean energy, true horsepower, American-made muscle. This is an opportunity that is unprecedented, never seen before, provision for the

Blue Oval City will be designed to be the largest, most advanced and most efficient automotive production campus in Ford’s history, the release from Lee’s office said. The campus will include the Ford assembly plant, a supplier park and a battery manufacturing plant operated by BlueOvalSK, Ford and SK Innovation’s joint venture. The site will become a vertically integrated ecosystem with key suppliers and battery manufacturing on the same campus where Ford will assemble next generation all-electric F-Series trucks.

Economic analysis projects the Ford buildout of the Memphis Regional Megasite will result in significant job and gross state product gains. The Center for Economic Research, a division of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development projected the following:

• The project is anticipated to generate more than 27,000 new jobs, both directly and indirectly, to support the site’s operations. This will result in more than $1.02 billion in annual earnings.
• This project is anticipated to contribute $3.5 billion each year to Tennessee’s gross state product.
• This project is also expected to generate temporary construction benefits including $5.6 billion spent on land, buildings, and other real property improvements. Additionally, more than 32,000 jobs are expected to support the construction period, with around $1.87 billion in salaries related to construction activity.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this great opportunity, how proud I am for Brownsville and Haywood County and for all of West Tennessee. This is the one that we’ve been waiting for. The main core of economic development has landed in Haywood County and will ripple throughout the entire West Tennessee region. And it will continue to make Brownsville not just a good place to live, but a great place. We welcome business residents as we shore up our education system to create a workforce pipeline for our future. We have beautiful natural resources, great hard-working people, and a great opportunity for our future. Synergy is the key.

Tuesday, Lee announced that a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) would be developed on the Memphis Regional Megasite in conjunction with Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation’s Blue Oval City.

The new TCAT will provide customized training developed in conjunction with Ford and SK Innovation, the release from Lee’s office said. This high-quality training will focus on electric vehicle and battery manufacturing and repair with the curriculum concentrating on mechatronics engineering and auto mechanics. Tennessee continues to develop the resources to meet increasing workforce demand and was recently named the No. 1 state in the U.S. for advanced industry job growth. Tennessee also ranks No. 1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing, claiming nearly 40 percent of the Southeast’s electric vehicle manufacturing jobs and investment.

“The new TCAT and Blue Oval City are game changers,” Rawls said. “The economic impact throughout the entire West Tennessee region will be phenomenal. We have changed the narrative. In fact, we’ve changed the atmosphere in which we live. The quality of life will go through the roof. The revitalization projects we have on deck now will continue to grow, create a better life for our existing citizens and welcome those who come.”

“As we continue to build a better community, to accept it and usher in the generations to come,” Rawls said. “We thank God.”