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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Competition fuels Tennessee’s pursuit of new jobs

Big companies coming to Tennessee always makes headlines, but just why are they coming here?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Big companies coming toTennessee always makes headlines, but just why are they coming here?

“Everyproject today is enormously competitive,” says Commissioner Bob Rolfe, whoheads the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department.

Hesays many nearby states are Tennessee’s biggest competitors for companies withnew jobs.

“It’ssomething about coming to the south where you have a much more pro-businessfriendly environment, and lower taxes,” adds the commissioner.

Andhe says one selling point often heard from new companies coming here isTennessee’s lack of a personal state income tax. The commissioner also pointsto low union participation, the state’s quality of life, and education effortsaimed at preparing a workforce.

“Whenyou add or bundle all those assets together, we have a great story totell,” the commissioner likes to say.

Whilecompanies like Amazon coming to urban areas promise thousands of jobs, smallerinvestment in the state’s rural areas is a priority of Governor Bill Lee.

CommissionerRolfe says new rural initiatives approved by the Governor are on the horizon.

“Twoweeks ago, our team presented to the Governor a couple of those newinitiatives,” says Rolfe. “He is not ready to roll them out, but Ican tell you it’s at the top of every conversation I have with him.”

Thosenew rural initiatives, says the commissioner, are expected to be unveiled thisfall.