KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Economic development leaders from across Tennessee are gathering in Kingsport for a three-day convention to discuss supporting the state’s economy.
The Tennessee Economic Development Council will hold its fall conference at the Meadowview Convention Center. The question of how to best support Tennessee’s economy will be at the heart of conference discussions over the next couple of days.
“None of us in the business or anywhere have a crystal ball, but our state has been doing very well,” CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership Clay Walker said. “We’re very fortunate to live in such a pro-business state.”
Coming off of pandemic-related issues including inflation and staffing shortages, it’s clear there’s a lot to talk about. Economic leaders said thus far Tennessee has been weathering the storm.
“I think it’s a great time to be looking for a job in this area,” President & CEO of TN Chamber of Commerce & Industry Bradley Jackson said. “Employers note to us that really workforce challenges are one of their main concerns, so I think wages have grown significantly.”
Jackson said the technology sector is among those growing quickly in the area.
“We’re seeing a lot more you know high tech jobs, you know, automation, technology, where skillsets that individuals have really have to align with kind of where industry is going in the future,” Jackson said.
Economic leaders said they’re looking forward to the discussions this week that they hope will continue to build and fuel the region’s success.
“The whole Northeast region has done a wonderful job focusing on quality of life, and housing and healthcare,” Secretary of the Tennessee Economic Development Council Marshall Ramsey said. “All those things play into that wheel of economic fortune.”
Local business leaders will also be in attendance at the conference. Tennessee Hills and Gypsy Circus Cider will appear on a panel Thursday to discuss how they contribute to the region’s alcohol industry.