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Big Brands, Bigger Hearts in Jackson, TN

Major companies with local operations help community during pandemic and beyond.

By Bill Lewis on June 28, 2021

Jackson, TN

If the power tools in your shop, engine in your car and chips and frozen foods in your kitchen had a label saying where they were manufactured, it very well might read “Made in Jackson.”>

Dozens of manufacturers, some of them globally known brands, have operations in Jackson, TN, among them Conagra Brands, Inc., The Kellogg Company, Delta Faucet Company and Stanley Black & Decker.>

In addition to creating well-paying jobs, Jackson’s manufacturers generously give back to the community. Among those who rose to the occasion during the 2020 pandemic include Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee, LyondellBasell Industries and Owens-Corning.

Supporting STEM in West Tennessee

To celebrate the plant’s name change from Toyota Bodine, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee donated $20,000 to the Jackson-Madison County School System (JMCSS) and $10,000 to the West Tennessee STEM Hub.

“The organization with the most impact on a community’s next generation is the school system. Toyota’s donations to the Jackson-Madison County School System and the West Tennessee Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Hub were aimed at helping those on the front lines of providing a great education,” says Wes Woods, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee (TMMT).

Toyota also made donations to the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, the United Way of West Tennessee and the Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA) Food Bank. In total, TMMT donated $400,000 in 2020, says Woods.

The $10,000 grant to the West Tennessee STEM Hub will support the organization’s efforts to connect STEM educators and businesses and to expose more students to STEM opportunities. Toyota’s grant enabled the JMCSS to purchase materials for its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and support STEM training for teachers.

“Business support for JMCSS is vital in ensuring our students have options and opportunities,” says Nathan Lewis, the school system’s CTE director. “Even in the middle of a pandemic, there are still opportunities for students to learn about careers and pathways to attain those careers. Students still have hope for bright futures.”

Jackson, TN

Partners With Schools

Owens-Corning donated $5,000 to Pope Elementary School in Jackson, its Partner in Education school, to help students thrive in the classroom while staying safe. The company manufactures chopped fiberglass at its local operation.

The donation helped the school obtain transparent face shields. Unlike masks, the shields allow teachers to see the children’s faces and connect with them more easily.

“We know the children … are our future, and we need to do what we can and what’s needed to support them,” says Harry Allen, human resources manager for Owens-Corning.

Lending a Hand

LyondellBasell wanted to offer a hand to those who have struggled with the economic fallout of the pandemic, says Rebecca White, plant manager.

LyondellBasell donated $10,000 to the Regional Inter-Faith Association as part of the company’s global $1.3 million donation to support food banks in 17 countries and communities where it has major operations. The company’s operation in Jackson manufactures plastics.

“Many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, and, as a result, have difficulty in feeding their families. We want to be part of the solution and lend our neighbors a helping hand, and a great way to do that is to support our local food banks,” she says. “We believe that as a member of our local community, we have a responsibility to support and assist our neighbors.”

The business community’s support has been crucial during the pandemic, says Lewis, the CTE director for JMCSS.

“Toyota, Stanley Black & Decker, Owens-Corning and other businesses in Madison County have continued to support schools during the difficult COVID-19 pandemic because they know JMCSS students are future employees,” Lewis says. “Jackson-Madison County is a great place to live because of businesses that support the work of the local public school system.”

Want to learn more about doing business in Jackson? Check out the latest edition of Livability Jackson, Tennessee.

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