Of the more than 130 Japanese companies that do business in Tennessee and collectively represent more than $20 billion in capital investment, three have made a significant impact on a community in the eastern portion of the state.

For the last 30 years, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Toyota Tsusho America and Koide Tennessee have made the cities of Alcoa and Maryville a hub for auto parts manufacturing and distribution. Because of its central location (much of the eastern United States is within a day’s drive), it’s no wonder the region has experienced an economic boom.

Since 1988, this trio have become outstanding corporate citizens, having invested more than $3 billion of capital in Blount County. Together, they employ more than 6,000 people while generously donating countless dollars and hours of community service to nonprofit organizations.

Earlier this year, DENSO embarked on a $1 billion expansion that added 335,000 square feet to its facilities. Koide, meanwhile, will add another 30,000 square feet to its factory amid strong growth in its operations.

Many businesses choose to remain in the area as public and private research and development investment exceed $2.5 billion every year.

Much of the credit for attracting these three Japanese companies and for the region’s consistent growth is attributed to the Blount Partnership, an International Economic Development Council accredited organization.