Driving Our Economy Forward: Colonial Chemical

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. (WDEF) — Just like in the name, Colonial Chemical makes specialty chemicals you might find in your home or your car.

And for that, they’ve even been recognized as a community leader in Marion County.

CCI talked to News 12 about how they’re driving our economy forward.

“Colonial Chemical is a 35-year-old manufacturing facility here in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. We make specialty chemicals; in particular specialty surfactants,” said Andrew Lawrence, human resources director. “Of those surfactants we have some that are the greenest that you’re gonna be able to find anywhere. And we have a patent, and they are used in several of our products. And have actually won an EPA award for them in 2021. We have been recognized as one of the leaders in the community here as for an organization of Marion County. In fact, we have won the business of the year for Marion County five in the last seven years.”

It’s easy to come across a product from Colonial Chemical.

“Our products are used in household, industrial use, paints and coatings, oil and gas industry, industrial lubricant market and a number of different other areas as well,” Lawrence said. “We now have 185 employees. 165 of those are here locally at our plant in Marion County. The employees that we have actually had here. We had a tremendous growth rate. We increase the staffing levels by 49 percent since.”

It’s not surprising to see growth here. Lawrence says they train their employees well.

“We expect to train people of the manufacturing type environment. And so we don’t really expect a whole lot more of individuals,” he said. “They don’t have to come in with a chemical background. They don’t have to have worked in a chemical company in the past. We can, we can teach all of that. There is a very thorough training program. It goes into a whole lot of different things that they will have to pass through before they can actually touch the plant floor.”

CCI has even started a collaborative effort with Chattanooga State.

“The program itself, it’s gonna be called colonial institute,” Lawrence said. “It is actually going to be a work and apprenticeship opportunity while you’re actually getting class credits at Chattanooga State. At the end of that program, you’re gonna have a certificate from Chattanooga State, and you’re also going to be eligible to potentially be an employee here at Colonial Chemical. It is a unique experience to learn skills that are going to make it, give you a certain career path. It’s a good company. The word is actually getting out there that we are a player in Marion County, and we’re excited to be part of this community.”

Categories: Driving Our Economy Forward, Local News