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Boyd Names New as Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development; February 19, 2015:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today the appointment of Amy New as the department’s first Assistant Commissioner for Rural Development.

New, a department veteran working with business and community development programs, most recently served as director of the department’s primary community development program ThreeStar.

Boyd said New would lead a new division within TNECD that reorganizes all community programs under her leadership. The move will allow the department to put a greater emphasis on assisting rural communities.

“While TNECD has done many good things for our rural communities, from the ThreeStar program to the Select Tennessee site development efforts, I believe we need to double down on our efforts,” Boyd said. “Many of our rural areas are still struggling, and we need to reorganize and align to serve them even better. That includes considering new programs, improving existing ones, and reallocating resources, both personnel and financial.  However, the most important first step is to put in place a great leader, and I believe Amy New is that leader. She has the experience, the passion and the leadership ability to move our state forward.”

Since 2012, as ThreeStar Director, New worked to restructure and expand Tennessee’s community development efforts by launching a more focused activity based program, with incentives and grant monies. The reconstituted ThreeStar focuses on five key areas critical to ensuring the success of Tennessee communities: Jobs & Economic Development, Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government, Public Safety, Education & Workforce Development, and Health & Welfare.

“Amy was raised in rural Tennessee and understands our challenges and opportunities,” Boyd said.  “Amy’s leadership abilities, relationships and grasp of rural policy will allow us to up our game on behalf of rural communities.”

A native of Monterey, Tenn., New worked at both the county government and chamber level, was a Business Profiles host with WCTE-TV and an account executive with MMA Creative prior to her work with TNECD.

“When our communities engage actively in community development to improve their quality of life, education, workforce and overall health they are building a foundation for economic development,” New said. “The private sector will only invest in communities that first invest in themselves.  We will use the opportunity to proactively work with partner agencies and our communities to attract investment and jobs to rural Tennessee.”

Boyd also announced the hiring of Jody Sliger as TNECD’s new ThreeStar director.

Sliger was most recently the interim president and tourism and marketing director of the Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that Sliger was a journalist in the Upper Cumberland region, including as lifestyles editor of The Expositer newspaper in Sparta.

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Haslam Signs Law Expanding FastTrack

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; May 17, 2012:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced he has signed legislation to expand the state’s FastTrack program to specifically support economic development in rural communities and for exceptional projects.

The governor proposed the legislation, HB 2344/SB 2206, in January to create the FastTrack Economic Development Fund, an expansion of the Department of Economic and Community Development’s (ECD) current infrastructure and job training program.

The legislation resulted from a 12-month review of ECD’s incentive programs with input from companies, site selection consultants and economic development stakeholders.

By making reimbursable grants to local industrial development boards, the fund provides additional grant support for companies expanding or locating in Tennessee, and the legislation stipulates that the fund will only be used in exceptional cases where the impact of the company on a given community is significant.

“Tennessee is recognized as one of the best places to do business in the country, and this legislation gives us another tool in the toolbox to help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs by focusing on our rural communities and recruiting and growing significant jobs,” Haslam said.

The FastTrack Economic Development Fund will aid companies in a variety of ways, including relocation expenses, temporary office space, capital improvements, retrofitting and other expenditures not previously covered by FastTrack infrastructure or job training grants.

“I want to thank the General Assembly for their support of the FastTrack Economic Development Fund,” ECD Commission Bill Hagerty said. “A more flexible FastTrack grant program will be extremely helpful to local governments, chambers of commerce and economic development professionals around the state as we work together to encourage existing industry expansions and recruit new companies to Tennessee.”

Sponsors of the FastTrack Economic Development Fund include Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Tim Wirgau (R-Buchanan).

For more information on the FastTrack Economic Development Fund, click here.