Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor, March 25, 2010:
Emphasizes collaboration among local governments and other stakeholders
MARYVILLE –Republican gubernatorial candidate and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam reiterated today his call for regional economic development strategies by emphasizing the need for collaboration among local governments and stakeholders who share regional assets.
At a meeting with local government officials, economic development professionals, and small business representatives during a key stop on his statewide Jobs Tour, Mayor Haslam praised the unique way in which Blount and Knox counties and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville have come together to forge a regional partnership. Through the Blount County Economic Development Board, these local governments have collaborated to establish a research and technology park that will build on the strengths of the region and work to spur growth in this important industry.
“Pellissippi Place is a wonderful example of a regional effort to capitalize on existing assets,” Haslam said. “These local governments recognized the tremendous opportunity UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory provide and have collaborated to build on key regional strengths.
“With this one idea you can see the potential of coordinating regional efforts. These communities chose collaboration instead of working against each other, and in the process they’re benefitting from each other’s investments as well as successfully leveraging outside resources,” continued Haslam.
Earlier this month, Mayor Haslam announced a plan to create regional “jobs base camps” with the responsibility for aligning and coordinating regional resources, staff, education, labor and economic development strategies into a powerful plan.
Haslam’s plan would decentralize the “home office” of the Department of Economic and Community Development and push the leadership and support to the regional level. He envisions 10 to 13 regional directors that will be responsible for supporting and coordinating already existing local and regional efforts, aligning resources and developing regionalized short-term and long-term plans for economic development. These regional directors would be tasked with giving weekly progress reports directly to the Governor and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.
“Pellissippi Place, although still in its early stages, represents the kind of long-term vision that could come out of one of these base camps,” Haslam added. “Every region of the state should be developing coordinated, strategic plans for regional economic development, and jobs base camps will offer the support needed to make that happen.”
Mayor Haslam is spending Week Three of his three-week, statewide Jobs Tour in East Tennessee, and today he is touring Blount, Loudon, and Sevier counties. Thursday’s events include a small business roundtable on tourism, tours of local small businesses, meetings with economic development professionals, and a tour of the DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products facility. The remainder of the schedule for the East Tennessee swing of the Jobs Tour can be found below.
Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor. Bill is the right person at the right time to lead Tennessee.
Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah.
To follow Mayor Haslam on his Jobs Tour and submit ideas for how to grow our state’s economy, please visit www.Jobs4TN.com.
For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit www.BillHaslam.com.