NETWORKS and NeTREP commit to collaboration, open to merging


(WJHL) – The Tri-Cities’ two largest economic development organizations say they’re going to work together to improve regional cooperation.

We learned that, in recent days, the boards of directors for NeTREP and NETWORKS approved a joint statement of cooperation.

NeTREP works to recruit new businesses to Washington, Carter and Unicoi Counties.

NETWORKS does the same for Sullivan and Hawkins Counties.

The two groups have sometimes competed for the same businesses and industrial jobs.

But in the joint statement approved earlier this week, the groups agreed for the first time to support each other, to work together to recruit new business to the region, to stop enticing businesses to relocate from one area to the other, and to be open to the possibility of combing forces through a possible merger.

The show of cooperation comes amid a growing call for regional cooperation and combined marketing under the name “Appalachian Highlands.”

You can read the joint statement below:

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