A pair of controversial Tennessee economic development projects are included in Site Selection magazine’s rankings of the most significant deals of 2010.
Site Selection released the rankings today.
An Electrolux plant in Memphis that would make ranges, wall ovens and cooktops is ($190 million and 1,200 jobs) is on the list of the Top Ten projects in North America last year. Earning Honorable Mention is Amazon.com’s plans for two distribution centers in the southeast corner of the state ($164 million, 1,400 jobs).
Despite the potential job creation, both projects have attracted criticism in recent weeks.
In a rare display of cooperation and good sense, five small counties in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky have formed an alliance to work on economic development.
The Ken-Tenn Regional Alliance, which represents Obion, Weakley and Lake counties in Tennessee and Fulton and Hickman counties in Kentucky, operates at the other end of the state, but East Tennessee economic develoment officials would do well to pay close attention to the group’s efforts.
Working across county and state lines presents certain political hurdles, but joint ventures can serve taxpayers well if local officials are sincere in their efforts to cooperate.
Governors looking to boost job creation in their states should cultivate industry clusters that focus on existing businesses and home-grown start-ups, says a Brookings Institution report released on Wednesday.
Old economic development strategies — tax credits, research and development, training programs, and physical infrastructure — won’t by themselves get it done in today’s post-recession environment, according to the report, Job Creation on a Budget.
Gov. Phil Bredesen continues to travel the world looking for jobs and economic development opportunities. The gov said today he and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber will be in Germany and Spain June 13-19.
While in Germany, they will meet with VW officials and potential VW suppliers who may want to build plants in Tennessee. In Spain they will be meet with “senior government officials from the Spanish state of Catalonia and from the Spanish Energy Ministry,” according to a press release.
“Tennessee has developed a strong reputation in the development of solar and other renewable technologies,” Kisber said in a statement. “The Pew Center for the States has called Tennessee ‘one of the three fastest growing states in the U.S.’ for clean energy jobs and we want Spanish companies to know that if they plan to enter the growing American clean energy market, Tennessee is the best place to locate.”
The governor is staying busy during his last few months in office. Last month he led a delegation to China for the Shanghai World Expo with stops in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
“Vietnam is a very rapidly developing market. That’s actually going to be something for the next governor to consider, if they want to pursue it,” Bredesen told Tennessee Report
Economic development efforts in Tennessee were among the most successful in the country in 2009, Site Selection magazine said on Monday.
Nissan North America’s announcement last year that it would invest $2.5 billion to retool its Smyrna, Tenn., operations to produce lithium-ion batteries and the LEAF electric vehicle was one of the Top North American Deals of 2009, the magazine said.