Blue Oval City’s Ursula Madden Addresses Chamber’s Monthly Membership Meeting

Madden, External Affairs Manager of Ford’s Blue Oval City, provided valuable insight into the current status and promising future of the West Tennessee Plant

The Collierville Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 14, at First Baptist Church of Collierville continued the growing tradition of informative and entertaining programs. Featured speaker, Ursula Madden, External Affairs Manager of Ford’s Blue Oval City, provided valuable insight into the current status and promising future of the West Tennessee Plant.

Prior to the day’s featured speaker, Jimmy Turner, Chairman of the Collierville Chamber’s Board of Directors, welcomed dignitaries in attendance and called attention to the growing number of the Chamber’s Premier Partners, a top tier of Chamber Membership, representing some of the area’s leading companies. Turner also thanked Simply Done Catering for providing the day’s appetizing lunch.

Chamber CEO and President Mark Heuberger presented a list of new members who had joined the Chamber over the preceding month. The Collierville Chamber continues to be one of the fastest-growing Chambers of Commerce in the region.

Heuberger then called attention to the day’s two prime sponsors – Presenting Sponsor, Alston Construction and the day’s Speaker Sponsor, The Farms at Bailey Station – The Farms at Bailey’s Station was represented by a beautiful video of “the absolute finest senior living available,” highlighting its history, amenities, and the various levels of care the sprawling facility offers. Heuberger then invited Alston’s Vice President and General Manger, Chad Lindsay, to the podium. Lindsay gave a brief overview of Alston and its national status as a leading general contractor at $2 – $2.5 B revenue per year and its recognition as a great workplace. He also mentioned his company’s involvement in the community, mentioning the annual Balloon Festival and the $150 – $200 k it has provided to education.

To most Mid-Southerners, Ursula Madden is easily remembered as an on-air personality and news anchor for WMC Action News 5 and, more recently, as the Public Affairs Director for the City of Memphis during Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration.

Madden began her remarks with an overview of the two-component Blue Oval plant in Stanton, TN, and addressed the impact that the $5.6 B Ford/SK on 3,600-acre plant would have on the area, calling attention to the 3,200 jobs Blue Oval City’s truck production facility would provide when the pant is fully operational by 2025.

While the truck production plant will offer glamour and visual thrills as new trucks roll off the assembly line, Madden also noted the thousands of jobs to be gleaned from the battery production side of the Blue Oval City site. The NCM (Nickel/Cobalt/Magnesium) batteries will store more power for long-range travel and operate well in low temperatures.

Ford and SK ON’s decision to bring the plant to West Tennessee hinged on several factors, including availability of suitable property and the capacity of the area to help provide the necessary workforce. Along those lines, Madden addressed the willingness of the companies to prepare the area’s potential workforce for the well-paying jobs to be offered. She cited examples of working with vocational training centers in the areas, as well as high schools, to help develop appropriate curricula. Madden also mentioned community engagement as a commitment from both Ford and SK ON. She recalled a recent visit to Collierville High School and involvement in Humboldt, Tennessee’s Strawberry Festival.

Additionally, Madden pointed to Blue Oval’s commitment to be the first carbon-neutral plant for Ford and SK ON and its mission to work with suppliers across the globe that are ethical, environmentally responsive, and treat their employees well.