ECD’s ‘Top-to-Bottom Review’ — Cut Staff, Increase Pay

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty did a Q&A session with the Tennessean. A couple of excerpts:
On the results of ECD’s “top-to-bottom review:
“The result of that was a fundamental change in our organizational structure. We are now divided into nine distinct regions, each with a highly competent regional director and staff that is focused extensively on the needs of existing businesses in the state of Tennessee.
“The (department) staff itself has been reduced by 42 percent while the average salary of each employee in our department has increased by more than $10,000. We have a smaller department but a very highly functioning department, and that staff is highly focused on recruiting.
“We have four overseas offices and we have a business development team that is focused on recruitment of companies from outside the state. They are working on a global basis every day to bring new companies to the state.”
On the search for regulations bothersome to business that should be changed, Hagerty said the big problem is at the federal level.
“There, our objective is to work closely with our congressional delegation to make sure those issues are aired in a constructive manner and identify businesses that may be willing to either testify before Congress in Washington or maybe field hearings here in Tennessee to underscore their issues and perhaps make a difference at the federal level.
“I don’t expect anything transformational at the state level, but I do suspect we’ll find opportunities for incremental improvement there. At the municipal level, I suspect we’ll find opportunities to share learning and best practices across the state.”

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