Hemlock Semi-Soft, Trouble Erecting New Sites

Proving itself to be the Mayberry of Tennessee, rumors have been swirling around the basin concerning the future of the Hemlock Semiconductor Super Solar System Shop being built in the industrial park.

If you’ve followed nationwide news recently, you may have read that the solar panel industry has become hugely competitive. Prez Obama received a brow-beating from opponents focusing on the failed investment the US made in solar company Solyndra. Hoping to score big with pricey panels, this company had simply been outpriced by cheaper Chinese products.

It’s a trend that’s been hitting the entire solar industry, so it’s not going unnoticed by the bosses building the new factory. Adding to their problems is the asstastic economy. Investments in new but expensive energy technology aren’t bursting at the seams due to the whole “ain’t got no cash” problem.

Bringing it back to Clarksville, officials from Hemlock have been trying to reassure the city that production will start up in late-2012. They are alledgedly on schedule and more than half of the needed production employees have already been hired. But they have been showing some signs of wavering on future expansion.

From the Leaf Chronicle:
As a result of this market volatility, Erpelding said, Hemlock Semiconductor Group’s site in Clarksville is “adjusting the timing of future expansions to better align with customer and market needs.

Hmm…let’s hope that’s as grim as the news gets. Clarksville needs this place (yes, single moms, even more than a Panera bread). Unemployment around Clarksville is bad, and I wouldn’t even call working 20 hours a week at Wendy’s employment for many people. They want to work hard, work 40 hours a week, and get paid a fair amount that allows them to support themselves. But there are so many service industry jobs here, Clarksville feels like a giant plaza with tons of miniature plazas inside it.

I’m sure you could imagine how screwed-over many would feel if things didn’t pan out. APSU students taking 2 years of classes. City officials giving out huge tax breaks. Third party companies planning around Hemlock’s opening. All sorts of already-bitter citizens would become even more sour than they already are.

They have already went ahead and planned some construction worker layoffs. Once again…planned. But I’ve heard a few conversations about how they’re looking for any reason whatsoever to get rid of construction teams. An example is forgetting to show what’s in your lunch box on the way out will get you dropped.

BUT ONCE AGAIN, this is all heresay at this point. Let’s just sit around and bitch for awhile and see what happens.

Personally I think they made a mistake with the name Hemlock Semiconductor. If they really wanted to look like a badass company, they should have went with…




  1. Carson

    well, it seems like you took a drop in the bucket worth of what’s happening and let your imagination get the best of you. Lets be realistic for a minute. Do you think every student that goes through the APSU course is going to get hired at hemlock? Just because 4000 people go through the classes doesn’t make 4000 jobs appear out of nowhere.. it’s a good thought, but the world doesn’t work that way. Going to school NEVER guarantees you are going to get a job. Contract companies aside; the site has hired hundreds of people locally already, and is paying them well for whatever they are brought in to do. The “not showing what’s in your lunchbox” comment is laughable. If you’ve ever worked for any factory or construction site you’d know that they all do random checks, I bet even Bridgestone does it from time to time. The site stopping their expansion temporarily so they can focus 100% on bringing their manufacturing online isn’t doom and gloom… It’s proof of their commitment to Clarksville and the people they have hired. They’re not locking the gates and pulling out, they are taking a foothold and ensuring that they’ll be in production so that they can remain competitive in the market and justify the expansions that have been planned.

    I gotta say, basing your post on one news article and someone who got fired because they were hiding crap in their lunchbox and trying to sneak it out is pretty lame 😉

  2. Arthur

    Me Grimlock!!!!

  3. Clarky McClarksville (Post author)

    Meh, I just needed an excuse to post my Grimlock picture 🙂

  4. MooCow

    The “Green” industries are always speculative. They are trendy, and if the trends shift, well, let’s just say that there could be one huge empty building out there. We have to face things as they are; China is kicking our collective asses right now. They are leaving us in the dust in all areas from technology to production, and when they can do more for less we cannot compete with that. Folks get too hung up on the promise of jobs. It’s gotten to the point that saying the word is like yelling fire in a crowded theater. Just say the word jobs and folks go ga-ga crazy to get their hands in the pie. Sure the economy is in the crapper, and jobs are non-existent, but there have to be more level heads prevail when it comes to courting industry. Over the past 5 years, the increases in “green” companies has been phenomenal, but when you look at how many of those actually succeed and make it past their start-up phase, the future isn’t so bright. Hemlock surely sees the writing on the wall; they’re spending a fortune building this facility, but if they realize that China can produce the same thing they are at a lower cost margin, they will have to scrap one of their facilities to stay alive. If that happens, I can almost assure you that it won’t be the one that’s already running production. Hemlock will come out of it unscathed; probably with a federal bail-out, and Clarksville will be left holding the bag of crap left behind.

  5. k

    Leave it up to the dumbasses of Clarksville to pick the wrong businees. We were the first choice for VW but Clarksville leaders turned them down for Hemlock. I thought that was a fucked up choice from the start. It was more jobs than Hemlock and cars are not going away.

  6. Cecil Saxon

    I always judge the viability of an upstart company by simply asking a few simple questions?

    Would I buy the product or service they plan on offering- NO
    Would a friend of family member buy the product or service they plan on offering- NO
    Would my business or any other business I know buy the product or service they plan on offering- NO
    Is the company positioned to outperform the sector with a differentiating factor- Not that I know of
    Is the company positioned to outperform the industry in price/quality- Not that I know of

    I say bring Grimlock in now, or maybe turn the place into a giant Paintball arena.

  7. carson

    You guys need to look at the company as a whole… Hemlock is a joint venture between 3 companies, the main one being dow corning, you may or may not have heard of them but i can promise you that within 10 feet of you is a product with something that company makes in it.. from clothes, paint, deodorant, caulk, shampoo, hair dye, makeup, microchips… The list is endless.. now hemlock is NOT a startup company, this is a new plant but hemlock has been around for a long time. It has enough money behind it that it won’t fail, there are still more people with jobs since it got here than there were before it got here 😉 you are talking about 3 multi-national corporations that are supporting one national company that sells a product globally.

    I do however agree with the name change 😉

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