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Merita bread bakery re-opening in May, 2014

Governor Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, and Flowers Foods executive VP and COO are proud to annouce Flower Foods is adding jobs to the local economy.

"I want to thank Flowers Foods for investing in Tennessee, and I appreciate the new jobs being created in Knox County," Gov. Bill Haslam said. "Expansions like this one serve as the greatest endorsement of Tennessee's workforce and today's announcement supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

It's great the Merita bakery in North Knoxville is opening up again. It's great there will be jobs. I think Governor Haslam is overstating the investment by Flowers. There was already a bakery here. There was already a skilled workforce of bakery employees. Flowers is not really endorsing Tennessee, they're just using an existing plant they bought in a bankruptcy deal.

Are the Merita workers who lost their jobs when the plant closed still around to take advantage of the bakery re-opening?

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It is my understanding that Flowers will be closing a smaller, older plant in Morristown and moving the operation to the Knoxville plant. Don't know if those employees will be transfered here or not. They do plan to open with hiring through a temporary service.

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