Business Facilities says Tennessee is tops, again
NASHVILLE – Business Facilities, a leading national publication focused on site selection and economic development, has again named Tennessee its State of the Year.
Tennessee becomes the first state in the award’s history to win back-to-back honors for economic development efforts and the first state to win the designation three times, winning in 2014, 2013 and 2009.
“It is an honor to be the first state to receive this recognition two years in a row,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “We have a great story to tell in Tennessee. Businesses continue to make the decision to locate, expand and grow here, and we are grateful for those strong partnerships.”
Some of Tennessee’s top economic development projects in 2014 included Volkswagen Group of America’s Chattanooga expansion, creating 2,000 jobs with an investment of $600 million; Under Armour’s new Mount Juliet fulfillment center. creating 1,500 jobs with an investment of more than $100 million; SL Tennessee’s Clinton expansion, creating 1,000 jobs with an $80.5 million investment; and Conduit Global’s new Memphis call center, creating 1,000 jobs with an $8 million investment.
“Being named first of 50 states for economic development for two consecutive years underscores the effectiveness of the new operating model we’ve deployed in Tennessee – one whose success is enhanced through our field network and through close coordination with our local partners,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Our historic wins validate the incredible momentum, fierce competitiveness and promising future that Tennessee possesses and emphasizes our intense focus on recruiting expanding and new companies.
The magazine cited Tennessee’s successful execution of a diversified growth strategy, as well as an emphasis on infrastructure and education, as key factors in securing consecutive victories.
“Tennessee is one of a handful of states that have clearly made economic development priority No. 1,” Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said. “With a powerhouse automotive cluster, world-class infrastructure and the nation’s most improved education system, we could be looking at a State of the Year dynasty in the making.
“We thought it would be hard for the Volunteer State to match last year’s performance, but the folks in Tennessee keep reeling in one mega-project after another,” Rogers said. “Most impressive, Tennessee seemed to pick up momentum as they went along.”
Tennessee has also fared well in Business Facilities’ annual rankings report, finishing first in the “Education: Race to the Top” category, second in “Best Infrastructure” and being named the top state for “Automotive Manufacturing Strength” for four of the past five years.