By: Commissioner Randy Boyd
When I accepted the job as commissioner of this department, it was with one slight reservation. I was aware that in 2013 we had won “State of the Year” for economic development and set a record for new jobs. When my appointment was announced, I called my great friend and predecessor, Bill Hagerty, who briefed me on my new team for about an hour and then concluded by saying, “We also have some more great news that has yet to be announced. We won ‘State of the Year’ again for an unprecedented second time and will set a new record again at 24,221 new job commitments!” While, of course, I was happy for my state, my first thought was, “Well, that’s just great for you Bill, but how can I follow that?!” I think I may have actually said it out loud!
However, on my first week I discovered I inherited an amazing, talented team of super stars and I realized if I just stayed out of their way, we’d be just fine. And, of course, we couldn’t settle for anything less than a new record, so we set a target of 25,000 and then developed strategies to get there. We can’t control awards like “State of the Year” as those have some subjective components, but we can control what matters most: more jobs for more Tennesseans.
It’s been a long year full of many victories, but 25,000 always seemed so far away. Not now!! I am happy to report as of this writing we are at 23,150. Both a new record and our target are within sight. We have six weeks to go and it is going to be close. There is a palpable buzz here at TNECD, and I’d like to share the excitement and energy with all of you. After all, this is not and has never been a TNECD accomplishment; it’s a state of Tennessee accomplishment. It takes each and every one of us. It takes Team Tennessee.
Please join us for the next few weeks as we send you regular updates with each announcement. I do this at some risk because it’s quite possible we may not make it. It’s still the fourth quarter and while we have momentum, we haven’t won. I look forward to sharing these last few weeks of the challenge and the excitement with all of you.
Go Team Tennessee!