New Valley Sustainable Communities Named in TVA Region

PrintLast year, we had 13 communities that completed and were recognized in TVA’s Valley Sustainable Communities program. The program was developed and is administered for TVA by consultant Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA), and recognizes communities that have tied economic development to the promotion of sustainability with Silver, Gold and Platinum designations.

Del Boyette, president/CEO of BSA, said, “The Platinum designation means that the community has made a significant and comprehensive commitment to sustainability and also has thoroughly integrated economic development into its sustainability efforts. The Gold level designation recognizes that a community has taken a leadership role in implementing sustainable practices and has made a commitment to sustainability efforts focused on economic development. The Silver level means that there are community-wide sustainability initiatives in place, with some programs available to support the business community and economic development opportunities.”

In this fiscal year, we anticipate that a dozen new communities will complete the program and receive designations. The economic development focus is to increase the community’s competitiveness when companies are looking to invest in new or expanded locations. (more…)

Valley Communities Leverage Culture, Local Spirit to “Get On the Map”

Look Here - Small Flag on a Map Background.The Valley region is dotted with nationally acclaimed communities. These places are well known for different reasons. Some are high-tech hot spots; others are beloved historic and cultural icons.

In every case, these communities earned national attention by rallying around a local asset or advantage, building grassroots support and leveraging smart marketing.

Here are some examples:

Huntsville, Ala.: was named a 2013“Top Ten Cities on the Rise.”City leaders brag about Huntsville’s high-tech assets, including NASA’s Marshall Space Center and the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal Post. When scientists are invited to Huntsville to attend high-profile conferences, these geniuses start bragging about the place, too.

Columbus, Miss.: is one of only 20 official Mississippi retirement destinations. Columbus markets its national historic landmarks, affordable cost of living and high-quality medical care to attract America’s retirees. (more…)

TVA Lands Record-Breaking Year: As New Year Approaches, Fiscal 2014 Winds Down on Successful Note

Year 2014 TargetTVA has secured a record-breaking year for jobs and investments in the Valley.

Working with economic and community development partners across the region, TVA helped create and retain more than 60,300 jobs and spurred $8.5 billion in business investments in the seven-state region during Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.)

Overall, since 2008, the organization has helped attract and retain more than 300,000 jobs and more than $38 billion in capital investments.

Looking at the Latest Numbers

  • Increase in the number of jobs retained and created by 8,300+ (compared to 52,000 jobs generated in 2013)
  • Increased investment recruitment by $3.5 billion (compared to $5 billion in 2013)
  • More than 190 companies were recruited to or expanded in the region
  • All seven states in the Valley experienced great results. (For regional results, read full News Release.)

What the Numbers Tell Us

TVA’s latest jobs and investment round-up points to three major economic development trends:

There is more project activity and job growth is happening in a variety of industries: The companies that announced in 2014 they would locate or expand in the Valley range from Academy Sports + Outdoors (Cookeville, Tenn.), to Remington (Huntsville, Ala.), to Bilstein Group (Bowling Green, Ky.) (more…)

FDI Publication Profiles TVA, Reminds Us of Reshoring’s Potential

iStock_000026525919_MediumA recent profile “How does the Tennessee Valley Authority work?” by FDI Intelligence magazine describes how critical partnerships can be when competing for jobs and investment tied to the region.

For example, 9to5 Seating announced last year the location of a new manufacturing facility that will bring more than 500 new jobs to Union City, Tennessee. The company is reshoring the manufacture of its product from China back to the U.S. TVA and local power companies worked in close partnership with Union City/Obion County officials and state and local economic developers to offer services to win the deal. The company’s site selection effort took nearly three years and encompassed 15 different states.

TVA also introduced the company to a local supplier for product used in its manufacturing process. Connections and resources are critical for long-term business growth.

How can Valley-area communities leverage partnerships to attract more “reshored” dollars and jobs?

This week, Valley Works examines what drives a company’s decision to bring business back to the U.S., giving insights on how local economic developers can market to these prospects.

First, let’s take a look at reshoring as a rising global business trend:

The rise of reshoring

“The reshoring movement is growing,” according to Patrick Van den Bossche, a partner with global firm ATKearney (read his report here). “A number of macroeconomic factors have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.”

Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, estimates reshoring has brought nearly 50,000 manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. in the past three years.

Meanwhile, the Boston Consulting Group predicts reshored business (combined with U.S. exports) will create between 2.5 and 5 million jobs by the end of the decade. (more…)

Soft Skills: What makes an employee and an economic developer great?

Skills ConceptWhat makes an employee great? To find out, we studied what top career experts have to say.

Today, the (unofficial) results are in: the skills employers want the most have nothing to do with performing a specific task or function. Instead, employers across all industries covet workers with “soft skills” – namely, relationship management, creativity and leadership.

This is also true for economic development.

Here’s how these three skills can apply to economic developers:

Relationship Management

Economic developers build and manage relationships with many audiences, including prospects, existing business owners, local elected officials, regional and state economic development organizations, developers and site selection consultants.

How can economic developers successfully navigate such diverse relationships?

  • Develop trust: do what you say you will (and when you say you’ll do it)
  • Remember: you are serving the customer/client
  • Know your product: this includes your community’s and region’s strengths
  • Keep the end goals and strategic vision in mind
  • Ask questions to identify your client’s needs
  • Listen, listen, and listen!
  • Determine the best method and how often to communicate


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