Ceramic tile manufacturer Portobello America, Inc. will invest $150 million in Putnam County to open a new United States Headquarters.
TDECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe says the company will create 220 jobs with its new location in Baxter.
“It’s a fantastic day for Baxter and Putnam County, and we say that because rarely do we get to come to this community and talk about a capital investment of over $150 million,” Rolfe says. “That’s private capital… and our job is to create incentives working with the local communities so that we can attract, in this case, foreign-direct investment.”
Portobello President Cesar Gomes Jr. says he’s impressed by the warm welcome from the community towards the company’s announcement.
“We are very pleased, very confident with this project,” Gomes says. “The way we are being received by the community and by the government, we feel we are starting a very good partnership.”
Gomes says the smaller community atmosphere of Baxter and Putnam County is what attracted the Brazillian-based company to the area.
“We are a big company, but we also come from a small community in Brazil,” Gomes says. “We know how important it is to build this type of partnership, and I think this will be a plus in our project, the fact that we are in a small community and so well received. Everyone’s motivated for this project.”
County Mayor Randy Porter says the announcement of Portobello is “historical” for both the county and, specifically, the Baxter community. The $150 million investment from Portobello is the largest in the history of Putnam County.
“When you hear about Portobello talk about their hometown, population about 27,000… I think they look at that and I think they look at how great our community is and how nice our community is with a small-town feel,” Porter says. “I think that makes them want to locate their business here because they feel like they’re coming to a community that’s the same as the home they live in today.”
Portobello is expected to have their new facility built by 2021. The facility will be located on the old Tennessee Motor Speedway site.