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Rainbow Inc. Receives Grant

A company in the industrial park operating as an offshoot of the Florim USA tile plant has been awarded a $23,000 state grant for job training.
Rainbow Inc. is one of many Tennessee companies to receive the Incumbent Worker Training Grant this year. The goal of the grant money, according to Gov. Phil Bredesen and his staff, is to help Tennessee companies “avoid downsizing and keep jobs in the state.”

Nearly $2 million in such grants were awarded last year, benefiting almost 10,000 Tennessee workers. Each company may use public, private, or its own in-house training provider based on the nature of the training.

Rainbow, a precision tile-cutting operation, is located at 1051 Industrial Park Drive and has 65 employees. Florim has been its principal customer since its inception.

Rainbow President Ernesto Zini said he was thrilled to learn the state — through Workforce Essentials — “offers financial assistance to companies, like ours.

“I have made it a high priority for Rainbow Inc’s management to investigate and put into action educational opportunities for the employees.

With this grant we plan to provide maintenance mechanic training and apprenticeship opportunities at our sister companies in Italy,” Zini said.

Rainbow has teamed up with Tennessee Technology Center to offer some of its employees various classes, including basic electricity, motor controls, programmable logic controllers, fluid power and mechanical maintenance.

Some staff will also be selected to train at Rainbow’s home companies in Sassulo, Italy, he said.

“Our mother company, Iride, has spent the last 20 years building an excellent reputation in cutting, polishing and rectifying materials for our clients in Italy. The group includes two other companies — Cerabra and Iride Due. Each company has set the tone for applications of new technology with time-tested technique,” he said.

“These are a higher level of skills that Rainbow employees need to learn to keep our American customers supplied with the various products they require. Tennessee is quickly becoming the recognized ‘Sassulo’ of the United States. It is our determination to develop a base of highly-skilled craftsmen and women from among our Clarksville, Tennessee, labor force,” he said.

Bredesen said in a prepared statement the Incumbent Worker Training Grants “are essential to help Tennessee’s workers look to the future with job growth and stability.

“This grant will help keep this company competitive and increase the skills of their talented employees,” he said.

James Neeley, commissioner of the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which administers the grant, added the grant promotes “customized training for existing businesses.” He said the grant program is structured to be flexible to meet each respective company’s training objectives.

Jimmy Settle is business editor and can be reached at 245-0742 or at

Rainbow Inc. Receives Grant
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