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Lafayette County Extends Helping Hand to SMW for Expansion

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

When SMW moved into the former Caterpillar building in Lafayette County two years ago, county officials and residents collectively breathed a sigh of relief.

Now, county officials are showing their appreciation to the manufacturer by loaning the company more than $2 million to help with an expansion that will create at least 40 jobs.

In 2016, Caterpillar announced it would be closing the Lafayette County factory within a year’s time. The doors closed at Caterpillar on June 30, 2017, and just five days later, SMW Manufacturing opened them and began operating out of the same facility with many of Caterpillar’s former employees given jobs in the new plant.

SMW manufactures cold-formed components for the heavy truck, automotive, mining, construction and industrial markets.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors will be loaning SMW $2,160,000 that SMW will pay back over time. However, Lafayette County will be borrowing the money to loan SMW from Three Rivers Planning & Development District and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

On Tuesday, the supervisors approved two resolutions for the loan agreements with both entities. The county will be borrowing $960,000 from Three Rivers and $1.2 million from TVA. Those funds will then be handed over to SMW.

Board President and District 5 Supervisor Mike Roberts said SMW is not only expanding the footprint at the facility in the Lafayette County Max D. Hipp Industrial Park but will be adding at least 40 new jobs that will pay between $40,000 – $50,000 a year.

“They are also going to be doing internships and working with local high school students,” Roberts said. “There is also the possibility of another 40 jobs being added on down the road.”

SMW officials could not be reached Tuesday for comment.


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