Economic outlook was Friday’s topic

Economic outlook was Friday’s topic
Economic outlook was Friday's topic | Weakley County legislative breakfast

SHARED GOALS – State Sen. Roy Herron (D) of Dresden welcomes Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District Rep. Stephen Fincher to the annual Weakley County Legislative Breakfast held on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus early Friday morning. The

SHARED GOALS – State Sen. Roy Herron (D) of Dresden welcomes Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District Rep. Stephen Fincher to the annual Weakley County Legislative Breakfast held on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus early Friday morning. The event was hosted by the Weakley County Economic Development Board and the Weakley County Chamber of Commerce.

The hour was early, but for the three newly-elected legislators at the breakfast table who have become accustomed to waking up with the sun, the morning had greatly progressed and the time for sharing new ideas and goals over coffee was a welcoming idea. 

On Friday morning, the Weakley County Economic Development Board and the Weakley County Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual legislative breakfast and State Sen. Roy Herron, State Rep. Andy Holt and Con. Stephen Fincher were seated at the head table.

In front of a room filled with county and state officials, the legislators had their time at the microphone and took advantage of the opportunity to share concerns and goals for the local and state economy.

“About eight million jobs have been lost in the recession between 2007 and 2009. That’s more than in the last three recessions combined,” Herron advised. 

While he started his speech with a harrowing number, he filled the rest of it with hope and emphasized opportunities becoming available with the port of Lake County, the jobs mega site in Haywood County and the roadwork on I-69.

“Industries are looking at our area. They are in economic development talks thanks to the passion and legacy of Congressman Tanner,” Herron continued. “The mega site will secure $30 billion. It will become the best in Tennessee and the southeast region. The two most important job sites will soon become the port and the mega site.”

Moving on to the importance of education, Herron shared that 15 percent of those with no high school degree are unemployed, 10 percent of those with a high school degree are unemployed and five percent of those with college degrees are unemployed. To this, he added that one third of jobs are developed for people with no college degree and two thirds of jobs are developed for people with a college degree.

“Nothing is as important as the education of our citizens. It’s imperative for our economic future,” Herron admitted. “Jobs will come if we educate the children.”

Holt focused on five areas – less government, improving the business environment, balancing the budget, prioritizing students and protection from federal mandates.

“The I-69 corridor is a priority. It puts Weakley County on the industrial map,” Holt remarked. 

“Students are the real industrial development. Everything we’ve talked about – it all starts with the work of Randy Frazier.”

Holt stressed protection from federal mandates particularly in the area of healthcare. 

“We have an opportunity to move Tennessee in a new direction,” Holt commented.

Fincher garnered applause when he announced the placement of an office in Martin in order to make sure all areas are serviced. The exact location of the office will be named soon.

“This is about me serving all of the district. I don’t serve Washington, D.C. I serve here,” Fincher stressed. “The people spoke loudly in November. They’re not happy with what’s happening in Washington. I’ve done a lot of listening.” 

“We’re so blessed in the state of Tennessee,” he concluded. “I look forward to serving with a positive approach.”

wcp 2/08/11

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