Going for Jobs with ‘Concentrated Events and Dinners’

Gov. Bill Haslam and his job creation team will begin to have “concentrated events and dinners” for people in specific business sectors, as the administration continues its efforts in job growth, the governor said Thursday.
More from Mike Morrow’s TNReport:
Haslam and Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, plan to focus on the six strategic clusters outlined in Haslam’s JOBS4TN plan.
Haslam told reporters that he and Hagerty recently met with about 12 chief executive officers from various businesses for dinner to talk about business expansion. He said this particular dinner was from a wider range of businesses than the more concentrated efforts the administration will be making.
“It made me feel great about our legislative session, because with 12 business men and women, within 10 minutes the conversation turned to two topics,” Haslam said.
Those topics were education and tort reform, he said — the two issues Haslam made as the focal point of his personal legislative agenda in his first year as governor. If there were any doubt that the administration considers tort reform as a jobs plan, it was put to rest by its placing the tort reform bill signing among news items atop the homepage of the Department of Economic and Community Development website.
…When pressed for details about the meeting with business leaders this week, Haslam told reporters Thursday they included three executives in manufacturing, two in the financial services industry and two in the logistics business among others. Haslam would not identify the business executives. A spokesman for the governor said the meeting was in Atlanta.
The Haslam jobs plan has emphasized a need to focus more on growing existing businesses within the state, as opposed to the recruitment of outside business, although the administration says it is not abandoning outside recruiting.
Haslam also noted Thursday that while lagging education is one of the reasons the state has unemployment issues, the state “hasn’t had access to a lot of capital, and I think that’s held us back in some ways as well.”

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