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Business Rundtable - Bridgestone-Warren outlook encouraging
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Tim Painter became plant manager of the Bridgestone-Warren County Truck and Bus Radial Tire Plant on Oct. 1, replacing Tamara Martensen who was named vice president, consumer manufacturing at Bridgestone Americas’ corporate headquarters in Nashville.

Tim, with 32 years with the company, was part of the original startup management team in late 1989 and early 1990 at the Warren plant. Tim has held various management positions with Bridgestone at corporate, the LaVergne Truck and Bus Radial Tire Plant, and the Aiken County, South Carolina Passenger/ Light Truck Tire Plant.

Tim was the plant manager at the Aiken passenger tire plant in 2016 after serving as operations manager at the LaVergne plant in 2015. Tim is a graduate of Tennessee Tech with a bachelor’s degree in production and operations. Tim’s wife Terri is also a graduate of Tennessee Tech in marketing.

They met in college in a reading class. Tim and Terri have one son, Will, who is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a BS degree. Terri and Will started a retail clothing store in the downtown square in Manchester in June 2019 named Owen’s Provisions & Apparel. Owen’s features upscale casual men’s clothes and much more. Tim advises the store is doing well.

Tim expects to relocate from Nashville to our area soon. Tim’s hobbies are hunting and fishing. Tim & Will are frequent bass fishing tournament entries around the Midstate.

The total headcount at Bridgestone-Warren is 1,076. This counts direct employees, contractors, warehouse staff, and co-ops. The plant is constantly hiring new people to largely cover normal attrition. Interested candidates should go to the website to learn more about job opportunities.

The plant is about 80% complete with a $40 million expansion program which will allow production to reach a new peak by April 1, 2021 of 9,400 tires/ day. Installation of new equipment is nearing completion. The highlight of the expansion is a new automated green tire overhead handling system that serves all current 39 automated tire making machines (soon to become 40). This new system has allowed the plant to reallocate 30 employees, giving a major boost in productivity. Capital investment at the Warren plant for 2021 is expected to be between $18 million to $20 million.