Governor Attends Grand Opening of Lighting Plant

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 8/16/2013 6:38 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - Whoever said America is losing all of its manufacturing jobs to other countries, was wrong.
That was the message as the Governor of Tennessee turned-up at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hixson Friday morning.
Global Green Lighting formally opened its new plant, that was brought back to Chattanooga from China.

Global Green Lighting is a state of the art technology company that produces low-energy lighting systems for for commercial and industrial clients.
One of its customers is the city of Chattanooga.
If you've seen the new lighting in Coolidge Park and downtown, you've seen their work.
It started here, but soon moved production to China.
The jobs came back last year, when CEO Don Lepard heard about the health needs of an employee.

DON LEPARD, CEO, GLOBAL GREEN LIGHTNING "She came to me and said 'I know you're going to have to lay some people off, but before you do will you help me buy a burial policy. For me, that was a game changer, It broke my heart."

Lepard described how that led to the new plant.

DON LEPARD, CEO. GLOBAL GREEN LIGHTING " instead of going to China and giving jobs to sub-contractors, we made the decision to move this factory back to Chattanooga."

ZACH WAMP, FORMER CONGRESSMAN "You're making a product that's got export potential, it is great for the environment, great for energy efficiency." "This really is what the Chattanooga agenda of clean manufacturing is all thank you for your time today."

Governor Haslam said he first heard about Global Green Lightning from Zach Wamp and wanted to personally welcome the new industry."

GOV. BILL HASLAM, TENNESSEE "This is another, I think, symbol of how Chattanooga is leading, really the country in manufacturing and not only that but its hitting something that's incredibly important to the U.S...helping, whether its cities, business become secure and environmentally responsive and save money in the process."

Global Green Lighting began producing its low energy lighting products last December and selling them to the city of Chattanooga in January.
There are 44 employees but Lepard says he hopes to see that expand to 500 in the next few years.

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