Governor Bill Lee discusses how to combat declining population in Tri-Cities

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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made a stop in the Tri-Cities Thursday night.

His visit comes on the same day a new study showed urban areas like Nashville and Chattanooga are booming, while rural parts of the state like here in the Tri-cities are struggling to keep up.

The new University of Tennesse-Knoxville study shows Murfreesboro is the fastest growing city in Tennessee following by Clarksville and Nashville. No cities in the Tri-Cities are in the survey’s top ten.

“Our big cities are thriving, and they are doing quiet well, but our smaller towns are struggling,” said Governor Lee.

At a republican dinner at Milligan College in Carter County Thursday night, he spoke about his education plans in rural counties, and he how he hopes will lead young people to stay in Northeast Tennessee.

“Give pathways to success to the kids in communities that are outside large cities,” he said. “For example, vocational, technical, agricultural paths.”

He also says a focus on job skilled education will make northeast Tennessee a target for companies looking for a place to settle. 

“When we do that are a more attractive environment for companies,” he said. “We are a more attractive place for businesses to start up and also for businesses to relocate into our state and that is what we are hopeful for.”

Governor Lee says he has been working closely with local leader, representatives and companies on improving the economy in Northeast Tennessee.

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