Shoe manufacturing company bringing 109 jobs to Jefferson County

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn (WVLT)- Jefferson County's unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, that's more than one percent higher than the state average.

But that may change now that Merchant House International Group's Footwear Division is coming to the county.

"We're really excited about FIT USA coming to Jefferson City. It's bringing about 109 jobs and about 5.4 million dollars in investment," says Garrett Wagley, Director of Economic Development for Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

The company will manufacturer American style western boots and distribute them across the nation. They're taking over the old BAE building in the Jefferson County Industrial Park.

"You do have that sort of base of employment here, folks that used to work in the industry some of them you would assume are still here," says Wagley.

And for this small community, it's putting them on the map.

"This is going to help this area a lot," says Joyce Hiday, who lives in the county, "because this county is really low on having enough jobs. So, this is going to be the greatest thing that has happened in a long time,"

"I think that it is great it's coming from China to here, instead of our jobs going from here to China." says Jeff Gabbard, he's excited about the new factory. "So, that's a step in the right direction and I think the people around here will embrace it."

The operation will be called Footwear Industries of Tennessee or FIT for short.

They will start the first phase of hiring at the end of this year and will be shipping shoes in March of 2014.

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