2 Tennessee towns to lose nearly 2,000 jobs as manufacturer moves operations south

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FAYETTEVILLE, Tennessee — Two Tennessee towns will lose nearly 2,000 jobs over the next three years as Goodman Manufacturing moves the positions to a new plant being built in Texas.

Media report Goodman officials announced on Tuesday that the company plans to consolidate operations at an all-inclusive campus in Houston, which is expected to open in 2016. Daikin Industries Ltd. acquired Goodman, which manufactures heating, cooling and refrigerant products, in 2012.

Goodman spokesman Rex Anderson said the company is trying to meet the growth in demand. He said the company's current facilities in Texas and Tennessee are operating at capacity.

"Daikin felt it was time to pull some things together for the efficiency of manufacturing and for the value that we could add to our customers by having it in one facility," Anderson said. "We did due diligence on different locations in Texas and outside of Texas, but at the end of the day the most favorable solution for our customers and for the company was Texas."

The company has about 1,200 workers in Fayetteville, making it the largest employer in a town with about 7,000 residents. A smaller factory in Dayton employs about 700 workers.

Goodman said employees will have the option of making the move with the company or taking a severance package that includes two years of free college and assistance finding other work.

City officials say the advance notice should help soften the blow to the communities.

Even so, Fayetteville Mayor Jon Law, who took office about a month ago, said the city will feel the economic impact from lost wages, property taxes and utility use.

"When you add all those together, it's a significant amount of revenue that we're going to be short on in two, two-and-a-half, three years," he said. "If there is a silver lining to this cloud, it's the fact that Goodman is giving us time. And that is more valuable than anything at this point in time."

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