News release from Department of Economic and Community Development:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today announced the release of nine regional strategic plans outlining how ECD’s field staff will lead new economic development efforts in their regions, support existing networks of local organizations and serve as an effective conduit between the department and regional stakeholders. The plans can be viewed at http://tn.gov/ecd/.
Gov. Haslam’s Jobs4TN economic development plan, announced earlier this year, decentralized ECD and established nine jobs base camps throughout the state. Jobs base camp regional directors and their staffs created the strategic plans through a variety of outreach efforts, stakeholder meetings and consensus building activities.
“Jobs4TN was designed to take a more regional approach to job creation so we can better understand and serve the needs of each region,” Haslam said. “The strategic plans will be a guide for economic development growth as we continue working to become the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“With assets varying greatly throughout Tennessee, it is important that we address each region’s strengths and challenges individually, and the strategic plans help us do just that,” Hagerty said. “Working with our local partners, we were able to develop plans specifically tailored to the needs of our nine regions.”
Each strategic plan is unique to its region yet common themes emerged, including enhancing communication amongst economic development partners, sharing best practices, reaching out to existing businesses and partnering with area stakeholders. The plans will continue to be reviewed and revisited with local partners on a regular basis.
Also announced today was the selection of a statewide director and a new Northeast Tennessee regional director effective immediately. Allen Borden, previously the Northeast Tennessee regional director, has been promoted to statewide director and will oversee the jobs base camps. Borden will be located in Nashville and will be the point-of-contact for all nine regional directors and ECD’s sister agencies throughout state government.
Iliff McMahan, Jr. will join ECD as the new Northeast Tennessee regional director from his most recent post as assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Prior to his work in state government, McMahan served two terms as county mayor for Cocke County, Tenn.
“Allen has done a terrific job as the regional director for Northeast Tennessee, and we are excited for him to step into his new role as statewide director here in Nashville,” Hagerty said. “I’m also pleased to welcome Iliff to the ECD team. He has the experience and skill set to serve Northeast Tennessee businesses as a single-point-of-contact for state services and to align communities in the region behind a unified job creation strategy.”