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February 23, 2011 Governor's Update : Chattanooga Manufacturing Visits & Roundtable

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Uploaded on Feb 23, 2011

Governor Haslam: Unfortunately we continue to see signs of the recession. Most recently in the announcement of the closing of the Goodyear plant in Union City. That closure will cause hundreds of people to lose their jobs, but we're committed to working with regional leaders to bring economic vitality back to Northwest Tennessee. Some regions have experienced recent success in this area. To learn more about what makes the volunteer state attractive to businesses, we travelled to Chattanooga. A big economic victory for Tennessee is the Volkswagen plant that will begin production this spring. More than 900 people have already been hired to work at the Chattanooga facility. But their work force is expected to eventually grow to more than 2,000. Volkswagen Group of America has also promised to invest one billion dollars into the state's economy in more than five million dollars over five years to area schools and universities. Volkswagen estimates that when the plant is fully functional and all the suppliers are in place, the jobs from this multinational company will generate 12 billion dollars in income growth and 1.4 billion dollars in tax revenues. In June 2010 Alstom Chattanooga expanded their facility to build steam and gas turbines as well as large turbo generators. Alstom took an old vacant building and renovated it to make it energy efficient with the capacity to build the largest turbines in the world. The plant will not only help to generate green energy, but will also fuel 350 high quality jobs. Chattanooga's excellent roads, railroad resources and waterways make it a logical choice to transport Alstom's large and heavy products.

Commissioner Hagerty: Well there's a spillover effect from large cutting edge industries like this that is going to affect the entire region. What I can't wait to do is figure out how that knock-on effect gets leveraged in our region. And as the governor said, it's going to be a lot about workforce training, getting the right job skills to our populace, and making sure that we have educational programs that support all this.

Governor Haslam: To learn more from Chattanooga success, and hear how the state can support this cities momentum, we sat down with some community leaders at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for a roundtable discussion about jobs. Our goal is to eventually travel to every region in the state to examine what communities are facing and to help them on how they can efficiently use their resources to create the economic development needed to bring high quality jobs to each region of the state. On February the 14th I had the great pleasure to help make the announcement that Mitsubishi Electric will build a 200 million dollar transformer manufacturing facility in Memphis that will eventually bring 275 new jobs to West Tennessee. We also introduced our legislative package last week. It was a busy week, with our key emphasis on bringing more high quality jobs to the state. We'll continue to keep you updated on the direction for your Tennessee government.

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