Happy Economic Development Week!
Regionalism… what is it? We hear the word so frequently that it can lose its meaning. Webster defines regionalism as (a) consciousness of and loyalty to a distinct region with a homogenous population and (b) development of a political or social system based on one or more such areas. In our office, we define regionalism as “a collaborative culture that benefits us all.” We’re firm believers that with regional growth, we don’t get a smaller piece of the pie, the pie gets bigger.
Most folks are aware of our partnership with Hawkins County. Here are a few of the examples of how we work regionally:
Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour – The NETN Red Carpet Tour is a 2 ½ day fam tour, where we roll out the red carpet for site location consultants. (If you’re new to
the economic development world, site location consultants connect companies and communities; it’s crucial for them to know everything that a community has to offer!) We visit Eastman, tour the RCAM and discuss its education system, share information on infrastructure and utilities, tour Aerospace Park, host a Songwriter’s Night with a Grammy-Award winning songwriter at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and wrap things up with a VIP experience at the iconic night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
We’re supported on this event by our friends at Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, Blount Partnership, Greene County Partnership, and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP). Each organization has the opportunity to network and formally present their community story to event guests.
This event has received an award from the International Economic Development Council.
Tri-Cities Quality of Life Video – The Tri-Cities Quality of Life video was launched in May 2018 and was intended to be a gift to the region. Following the success of the award-winning NETWORKS Community Video, this video focuses strictly on how incredible the quality of life is in our region. All three Tri-Cities communities receive equal representation, with famous landmarks from surrounding Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia communities sprinkled in, as well.
If you are interested in having the NETWORKS logo bookends replaced with your company logo, please contact us for the licensing agreement.
Composites Coalition Partnership – We are partnering with Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley to co-host a Composites Coalition quarterly meeting on Wednesday, May 15, at RCAM. As the composites industry continues to grow in Tennessee, we want to ensure that our existing composites related companies have the support they need to thrive and that our community is positioned correctly to attract other composites companies.
Support of other EDOs – We are proud to support the work of other economic development organizations, including our friends at NeTREP. NeTREP has increased its focus on Outdoor Development and Talent Recruitment. Our Director of Marketing, Dana Glenn, serves on the Outdoor Task Force Steering Committee, as well as the Meet the Mountains festival planning committee. Our team also participates in Talent Connect – a fam tour for students that aims to connect college students with career opportunities in Northeast Tennessee.
Support of regional organizations – There are many regional initiatives throughout Northeast Tennessee. Examples include our strong partnerships with the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) and Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association (NETVRIDA). Our Director of Economic Development, Michael Parker, and CEO, Clay Walker, served on the STREAMWORKS Education2Employment planning committee, an event that we also sponsored.
Recently, our team has become increasingly involved with STREAMWORKS, a regional educational program that delivers enhanced opportunities for K-12 students to participate in project-based programs that focus on STEM skills, inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities. We have sponsored Twenty Under 20 and a regional MATE competition, and will also sponsor the International MATE competition June 20-22. Clay sits on the organization’s board and also had the opportunity to present the marketing award at the regional MATE.