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Leadership visits area’s industrial, health facilities

Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Franklin County Leadership explored the local area industrial sector on Nov. 1. The tour included a trip to Phoenix Boats which makes high-end bass fishing boats, customized to where the latest fishing technology can be added. Here, the leadership group marvels at a custom boat with a couple of monitors and a black and red metallic trim.

—Staff Photo by Seth Byrd


Seth Byrd

The Franklin County Leadership Program went on the third field trip of the class on Nov. 1, this time to the local area’s industrial sector.

First on the schedule was a trip to Winchester Utilities where George Powell, Human Resource manager, spoke to the group about the company’s responsibilities to deliver power and water to residents of the area. Powell also talked about how Winchester Utilities recently won best water in the state and how it will be going to the National competition in February.

From there, the group headed to the Winchester water plant for a tour. Adam Denton, plant manager took the group on the tour and explained how the plant processes and filters water for a clean usable result. Benton also covered how the clean water then can be pumped back Tims Ford lake.

After the water treatment plant, it was off to one of the most notorious places on the program’s trail — a tour of the Winchester Waste Treatment facility.

Jason Allman, wastewater superintendent, talked to the group about how the plant takes the sewer in the city, with the help of organisms and multiple filters. The plant breaks down the hazardous buildup of debris that are natural byproducts of human sewage material.

Once the tour of the waste treatment facility was over, the group boarded vans headed for the Nissan North America Decherd Powertrain plant, one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing plants in the country. On the tour, the group got to see how manufacturing uses robots and the latest technology, to assemble motors and other products in seconds. With a motor coming off the line every 17 seconds.

Next up was a presentation by Erik Cole maintenance senior manager, showed how the plant has grown in 20 years in Decherd, from a small assembly plant to the largest manufacturing plant in the United States.

In terms of the diverse amount of product that is made in the facility. Products such as motors, crankshafts, forging and casting that is all done at the Nissan plant. The class even got to race a robot tracing a design, thus showing how much faster and accurate automation is by using robots.

After all the excitement at Nissan, the group headed next door to the Infiniti assembly plant for a much needed lunch break.

From time the group walked in the door to the picture out front by the Infiniti logo, the emphasis on making visitors welcome is second to none.

While at the plant, the Leadership participants learned about how the plant came about, and, despite the advanced technology manufacturing facility, a singular element reigned true throughout the whole visit that the human element is very much a huge part.

The Leadership class loaded up the vans and headed to Phoenix Boats manufacturing facility the next stop on the agenda.

This company constructs high-end bass fishing boats. The style, shape and color is customized for the customer. The group also got to know that the boats are made backward in process compared to car making.

The long day would continue to the Southern Tennessee Regional Health System for a tour of the wound care area and the cardiac area.

The group learned about how hyperbolic chambers and how they can heal diabetic wounds and the holistic approach that the hospital takes to patient care.

Finally, after a great day of touring the local manufacturing industry, Winchester Utilities and the hospital the day would be concluded by a couple more presentations at the Chamber of Commerce office.

The first was done by Gene Seaton, Franklin County industrial recruiter. Seaton talked about how Franklin County attracts potential industrial prospects to come to the area and how it helps Franklin County grow and sustain the growth it has had.

Last on the agenda was a presentation by Ramay Winchester, Retire TN program director.

She talked about how the organization gets people to retire in the state of Tennessee and Franklin County, targeting residents from northern states who want to escape colder weather.