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Tennessee Named ‘State of the Year’ by Business Magazine

State of Tennessee press release, 6 Jan. 2010:

Hemlock Semiconductor Earns Silver Award for 2009 Economic Development Deal of the Year

NASHVILLE – The editors of Business Facilities magazine, a national economic development publication, have named Tennessee the magazine’s 2009 State of the Year for the number of new jobs created and amount of capital investments made during the calendar year. New Jersey-based Business Facilities also named the Hemlock Semiconductor project in Clarksville, Tennessee its 2009 Silver Award winner for Economic Development Deal of the Year, citing the company’s announced investment of $1.2 billion dollars and the creation of 500-900 new jobs.

“With our strong and productive workforce, low taxes and nationally recognized business climate, Tennessee continues to distinguish itself as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “I appreciate this recognition of our success in securing corporate investment and creating higher skilled, better paying jobs for the people of our state.”

“Despite the economic downturn, Tennessee welcomed more than 16,700 new jobs and $3.1 billion in new capital investments in 2009,” said Commissioner Matt Kisber, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Job creation continues to be our top priority, and we are grateful to Business Facilities for recognizing the efforts to generate economic growth in our state.”

Business Facilities editors noted Tennessee won the honor “due to an aggressive and creative development effort that defied the economic downturn with a series of multi-billion-dollar projects.” Cementing Tennessee’s position on top were back-to-back announcements that the world’s two largest polysilicon manufacturers, Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Chemie AG, would both locate major production facilities in the state.

“In a difficult economic year, Tennessee has set a proactive example of successful development that should serve as a model for all states charting their path to recovery. Governor Bredesen and his team have consistently impressed us with a strategy that has put in place a solid foundation for future growth for years to come, moving Tennessee into a leadership position in emerging and established industries,” said Jack Rogers, Editor in Chief of Business Facilities magazine. “Business Facilities congratulates Tennessee for a well-deserved honor as our 2009 State of the Year.”

The magazine also recognized Tennessee’s commitment to the creation of clean energy jobs with its innovative Green Energy Tax Credit for certified green energy supply chain manufacturers. The Green Energy Tax Credit was also expanded last year to include integrated customers and suppliers and qualified affiliates of green energy manufacturers.

The Business Facilities awards are added to a collection of honors Tennessee has received for its economic development efforts in 2009. Tennessee was ranked among the top five states in the U.S. for best business climates by Site Selection magazine. Southern Business & Development magazine named Tennessee a co-state of the year and Governor Phil Bredesen, Commissioner Kisber and Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr were named to the publication’s Ten People Who Made a difference list.

Tennessee also won Area Development magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel Award, which is presented annually to the state achieving the most success in terms of job creation and economic impact.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.