TVA Economic Development Efforts Help Businesses Invest $4.9 Billion in 2011
November 22, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority 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 in fiscal year 2011.
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. ”That is exactly what we did in 2011.”
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.
TVA's 2011 economic development efforts contributed to the following business investments and job totals for the TVA service area:
- Alabama : $1.1 billion and 7,300 jobs
- Kentucky: $378 million and 5,100 jobs
- Middle Tennessee: $1.4 billion and 7,600 jobs
- Mississippi: $304 million and 3,500 jobs
- Northeast Tennessee and Virginia: $307 million and 3,700 jobs
- Southeast Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina: $258 million and 5,400 jobs
- West Tennessee: $1.2 billion and 10,400 jobs
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 located near Hopkinsville, Ky., and Stanton, Tenn. For more information, on TVA’s Megasites program, visit http://www.tvaed.com/megasites.htm.
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 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 Valley region were identified in 2011 for potential development for data centers under TVA’s program to attract future data center locations. The added sites are in Florence and Huntsville, Ala.; Morristown and Nashville, Tenn.; and Adairville, Ky., and bring the total number of identified sites to 18. For more information see www.TVAed.com/datacenters/.
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.
To help evaluate local economic development organizations’ websites, TVA’s Community Development Services also performed 23 website audits. Some examples of community programs helped by TVA Economic Development include:
- Union City and Obion County, Tenn., developed a comprehensive strategic plan to highlight their resources, promote existing businesses and gain new jobs after a major employer left the community.
- A study contracted through TVA’s Regional Targeted and Prepared program looked at regional strengths and target industries for nine counties in West Tennessee.
- Basic training courses, called Economic Development 101, were offered in Cherokee, N.C., with local utilities, economic developers, government officials, technical colleges and business leaders.
- A series of webinars were held to educate and prepare communities throughout the Valley to recruit industries, especially in transportation-related manufacturing, solar components manufacturing, data centers and food processing and packaging.
- The TVA-sponsored, 16th annual Rural Development Conference in Cookeville, Tenn., and the Rural Leadership Institute to help economic development in small communities.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Mike Bradley, Knoxville, (865) 632-7453
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000