Tennessee has taken top honors in automotive manufacturing strength and education according to Business Facilities magazine.

The Volunteer State, the first in the nation to win back-to-back “State of the Year” honors from Business Facilities, has ranked No. 1 for automotive manufacturing strength for an unprecedented five times in the past six years and also ranked No. 1 for education in 2014.

In the magazine’s 11th Annual Rankings Report, Tennessee also earned accolades in the following categories:

  • No. 2 Best Business Climate
  • No 2 Best Infrastructure
  • No. 4 Workforce Training Leaders
  • No. 7 Automotive Employment Leaders

Home to more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers statewide, Tennessee is reaping the benefits of a strategic focus on the automotive sector. This year alone, 20 automotive projects have committed 4,565 new jobs throughout the state and nearly $1.1 billion in capital investment. In March, Nissan North America announced plans to invest $160 million to build a new supplier park at its Smyrna vehicle assembly plant creating more than 1,000 new jobs. Nissan’s Smyrna plant has been noted as being the most productive automotive manufacturing facility in North America as it produces almost 650,000 vehicles each year including the Maxima, Rogue and Altima.

Business Facilities credits the Tennessee Promise program for earning Tennessee the No. 1 spot in the magazine’s new “Education: Tech Skills Leaders” category, which showcases the states that have made tech skills-oriented educational programs a top priority. Tennessee Promise, the first initiative of its kind in the nation, offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates. Over 16,000 students are expected to participate in the program this fall.

“The leadership Tennessee has shown in education is a standard that should be emulated across the country,” Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said. “It’s also the smartest formula for sustainable economic growth.”

To view the complete 2015 Business Facilities Rankings Report, visit businessfacilities.com

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