TVA contributing to regional job growth
Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:02 pm
The Tennessee Valley Authority’s economic impact across the Mid-South extends into the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, according to a 2011 report recently released by the TVA.
TVA provided technical services, financial assistance and other incentives to help companies invest $4.9 billion in economic development projects that attracted or retained 43,000 jobs across the region during the 2011 fiscal year. Those figures include $1.2 billion in business investments and 10,400 jobs across West Tennessee during the past year.
John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development, said TVA economic development support has contributed to more than 300,000 new or retained jobs and $32 billion in business investment since 2005.
“With the national economy still recovering, it is more important than ever for TVA to continue working with power distributors and directly served customers; regional, state and local officials; community groups and others to create jobs and boost regional economic development,” Bradley said.
In 2011, TVA’s economic development activities, which are part of TVA’s non-power mission under the TVA Act, helped recruit or expand more than 140 companies in the TVA service area.
One of TVA’s most successful economic development efforts has been the megasites program in which TVA partners with local stakeholders to market large industrial tracts to manufacturers. Megasites are large parcels that are ready for heavy industrial development, available for sale, have access to utilities and are free of easements and right-of-way issues.
Volkswagen opened a 2,000-employee, $1 billion Passat factory on a megasite in Chattanooga in May and by September saw the 10,000th car roll off its assembly line.
Toyota, which in 2007 selected a megasite near Tupelo, Miss., for a plant to build Corollas, celebrated the first car off its production line in November. Toyota and its suppliers are providing about 2,500 jobs.
Three other Megasites have been sold to Dow Corning/Hemlock Semiconductor (to produce polysilicon for solar cells and semiconductors), Paccar (to build diesel truck engines) and Severstal (to make steel for commercial and automotive uses).
TVA continued to market and promote two remaining megasites in 2011.
In September, TVA was named for the sixth straight year among Site Selection magazine’s top 10 North American utilities for achievement in economic development.
The Site Selection magazine rankings are based on a number of factors, including project activity, input from corporate end users and site consultants, website tools and data, and innovative programs and incentives for business.
Five new locations in the TVA region were identified in 2011 for potential development for data centers under TVA’s program to attract future data center locations. In Tennessee, the added sites are in Morristown and Nashville.
In 2011, TVA Economic Development’s Community Development Services staff conducted 107 training and development workshops to help communities plan and prepare for economic growth, identify economic opportunities and be more competitive.
TVA staff provided help with technical services, economic research, proposal writing and other services.
One example of community programs helped by TVA Economic Development include working with economic development officials in Obion County to help develop a comprehensive strategic plan to highlight the county’s resources, promote existing businesses and gain new jobs in the wake of the Goodyear plant shutdown.