Dr. Rich Becherer, Thomas Bohn, co-founder and Chief Executive
Officer of Knetwit Inc., Benjamin Wald and Tyler Jenks, co-founders
of Knetwit. Wald and Jenks were recently selected by Business
Week as two of America’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs.County Mayor Claude Ramsey encouraged 400 College of Business students to finish their education so that they can be prepared for career opportunities offered by Volkswagen.
“It comes down to this: education,” Ramsey said. “For those studying accounting, and those with a banking background, there will be all kinds of opportunities. If you don’t have the education and the discipline to finish, you won’t have those opportunities.”
Ramsey recounted the story of local government’s courting of Volkswagen at the 13th Annual Clarence E. Harris Entrepreneurial Forum, held at the University Center. He said after many months of negotiations, Chattanooga fought its way to the short list of locations under consideration. The situation was reminiscent of the area’s bid for a Toyota manufacturing plant, which eventually located in Tupelo, Mississippi.
“We learned from that process and now the economy is changing. We pursued all avenues and learned a lot,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey said in the final stretch toward making the deal with Volkswagen, the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and the private sector were given three weeks to work together and coordinate site work. When the Volkswagen officials returned, Ramsey said they were thrilled with what they saw, calling the progress “absolutely amazing.”
The Volkswagen manufacturing plant being built at Enterprise South will employ 2,000, with the potential for spinoff employment of 8-9,000 more. The scale of the $1 billion facility will be just under two million square feet.
UTC will be represented at a Volkswagen Career and Supplier Expo scheduled for Thursday, November 20, at the Chattanooga Convention Center from 3-9 p.m. The career fair will focus on professional and administrative positions Volkswagen hopes to fill within the next three to six months.
Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey
College of Business Dean, Dr. Richard Casavant, Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey, Dr. Rich Becherer