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Cobra America expanding in Bristol

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:55:48 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 20 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

A Bristol, Tennessee company is expanding and the growth may not stop with a larger building.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

A Bristol, Tennessee company is expanding and the growth may not stop with a larger building.

The coal industry brought Cobra America to Bristol, Tennessee several years ago to supply conveyor belts to the mines.

"Our coal business is off 35-percent and we are worried the policies seem to be going against coal," says Jeff Jones, vice-president of Cobra America.

A potentially worrisome decline, but it's forced Cobra America to branch out in different industries and its paying off.

Friday morning company executives cut the ribbon on a new much larger facility.

"Our growth is potentially 10 fold and i say that conservatively," says Jones.

The ribbon cutting was also a chance for Tennessee governor Bill Haslam and other state leaders to make a pitch to cobra america executives in hopes of landing a new manufacturing division in Bristol.

"What we see in Tennessee, our job growth mainly comes from existing businesses," says Governor Haslam.

Cobra officials say Bristol in one of two finalist for the new factory site.

Wherever the company locates the plan is to hire close to 100 people per shift.

"We would love to have them do more manufacturing here, we have to show they can produce here at a great cost," says Governor Haslam.

The factory will focus on supplying conveyor belts to the food industry.

Company officials say they hope to make a decision soon on where to locate their new factory.

They add if business continues to grow, there is the possibility of another division of the company locating in Bristol in the future and creating even more jobs.