Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc., Nashville, announced at a groundbreaking ceremony on October 10th that it will name Nashville as its North American Powder Coatings headquarters and technical laboratories in 2007. The designation will add approximately 50 new high-value-added jobs to the Nashville area, including positions with the company's general management, finance, information management, R&D, customer service (inside sales) and purchasing departments.

A building expansion will add 10,000 square feet of office space to the company's existing Nashville manufacturing facility. The manufacturing site currently employs around 125 full-time employees.

The construction of a 6,500-square-foot state-of-the-art R&D facility has already been started and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The new industrial R&D laboratories will support architectural, furniture and appliance market sectors and will become the company's "Center of Expertise" for these sectors in North America.

"Expanding our Nashville operations is a strong indication of Akzo Nobel's ongoing commitment to the powder coatings markets in the Americas," said Rob Molenaar, Akzo Nobel's business unit general manager for powder coatings.

Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings is a business unit of Akzo Nobel nv, Arnhem, the Netherlands.