Community Stakeholders Report 
Quarter Four - 2017
From the Desk of the CEO

Looking Back on Past Three Months Gives One a Great Deal to Look Forward To

Another year is in the books and for the next two months, most of us will be busy awkwardly altering that 7 into an 8 - as in 2018 - as we date our checks. I once believed that we had trouble adjusting to the new year because it had become such a habit over 12 months of dating things that it just took some time to adjust. As I grow older and the years go by a little faster, I have altered that theory; I mean, we don't really write out many checks after all, especially these days.
No, I think sometimes we have a little trouble letting go of the past and maybe, just maybe, that reluctance to closure sometimes manifests itself in a somewhat sloppy electricity payment. Of course, it could just be me. In my profession, you don't get to look back often. It's not just a what-have-you-done-lately world we economic developers live in, it's more what-have-you-done-today-and-what's-in-store-for-tomorrow. So, maybe an occasional sloppy date on a check is my sort of crutch for holding on a little while longer.
If that is the case, my monthly payments should become more legible a little quicker than was the case last January. After all, in 2016, NETWORKS and our partners had been involved in a record number of primary job announcements with more than 1,500. This year, we came back down to a more typical year with 503 new jobs in which we were involved. (There were a couple hundred more announced in Sullivan County, but unlike most economic development organizations, we do not include job creation in our year-end numbers if we didn't work the project in a meaningful way.) Still, we are grateful to the companies that will be putting those 503 jobs on line over the next several months and for the more than $52 million of investment those projects represent.
Among those projects was the move to downtown Bristol by Turtleson. The clothing company consolidated operations from Atlanta and Charlotte. In addition to the relocation of a handful of employees, officials said they will make about 20 new hires.   Techni-Glass announced it was expanding its Phipps Bend Industrial Park facility in Hawkins County. The company will add 15,000 square feet to house an additional 54 employees.
As we leave 2017, we are also encouraged by the number of active projects we are working and the quality of them. In fact, we have had more leads come across our desk and that appears to be a trend we hope to continue for many years to come. While our job numbers didn't break any records, the total announced project count was up from six to eight. We attribute that in large part to our partners in Nashville, with whom we spent a great deal of time this past quarter.
We thanked several members of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development with an evening of fun at Topgolf in Nashville in November. We also enjoyed their company at the Governor's Conference on Economic Development in Gatlinburg this October; for the third time in the past four years, I was honored to participate as a panelist, this year on the subject of Selling Your Site. Mayors John Clark of Kingsport and Jack Young of Bristol and I represented our region at the SEUS-Japan Conference in Greenville, South Carolina, in October as well.
And, of course, I just wrapped up my year as Chairman of the Tennessee Economic Partnership. I didn't realize the level of involvement the chairmanship carried, but it was a tremendous experience for which I will forever be grateful. The experience helped raise the profile of NETWORKS and our region as it allowed me to represent the state as "host" to several outbound and inbound marketing events.
Speaking of our profile being raised, BTES certainly did so with its remarkable accomplishment of claiming the Malcolm Baldrige Award, becoming the first utility to do so in the honor's 30-year history. Sullivan County can now claim three of the five Tennessee Malcolm Baldrige Award winners, as BTES joins Eastman and Pal's Sudden Service as recipients. Congratulations to Dr. Mike Browder and his team on this impressive achievement.
Our region and aerospace recruitment efforts received a boost as well this quarter with the official signing of the Aerospace Park Agreement in a November ceremony at Tri-Cities Airport. Sullivan and Washington counties along with the cities of Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City will share in the costs of an $8.5 million site development project on the 166-acre industrial park, which offers direct runway access.
Speaking of joint efforts and regional cooperation, Northeast State Community College made the news (and our jobs easier) with two unique partnerships. Milligan College and Northeast State announced a partnership that will enable the community college's students to work toward an engineering degree from Milligan. Northeast State also partnered with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown that allows TCAT students to apply for an Associate of Applied Science degree once they have completed the Aviation Maintenance program and earned a Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Power Plant license.
The Bristol and Kingsport chambers of commerce, under the NETWORKS umbrella, recently earned Sullivan County the Seal of Approval from the American Association of Retirement Communities. This distinction is presented annually to communities that demonstrate a cutting-edge commitment to attracting retirees through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication programs, and education.
Obviously, there was a great deal of things going on as we closed out 2017... all of which give us even more to look forward to in 2018!

Upcoming Meetings
Annual Meeting

January 17, 2018
8:00 AM

Northeast State Community College
Library - Room L106

In This Issue
Notable Social Media Posts

Turtleson Believes in Bristol
Clothing Company's HQ, DC to Locate Downtown

Fine clothing manufacturer Turtleson announced its intentions to relocate its corporate headquarters and distribution center in downtown Bristol. The company also plans to add an embroidery division at its new Shelby Street location. Turtleson will relocate a handful of employees and make 20 new local hires.   Read more here.
Techni-Glass Reinvests in Phipps Bend Facility
Hawkins County Mainstay Announces Fifth Expansion

Custom glass manufacturer Techni-Glass announced that it would add 15,000 square feet and 54 new employees at its Hawkins County plant in Phipps Bend Industrial Park. The $1.5 million investment will also include making equipment upgrades. Read more here.
BTES Wins Malcolm Baldrige Award
First Utility to Claim Award Joins Eastman, Pal's as Local  Recipients

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) became the first utility to claim the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award, in its 30th year, recognizes exemplary practices among American organizations and businesses including an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership, and administrative improvement.
Counties, Cities Come Together to Fund Development
Aerospace Park Agreement Shines Spotlight on Industrial Site

In November, officials from Tri-Cities Airport, Sullivan and Washington counties, and the cities of Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City gathered for a signing ceremony, memorializing its partnership in funding the further development of Aerospace Park in the amount of $8.5 million. Airport officials are seeking various other grants that they hope will complete the entire 166-acre development for a total cost of about $20.2 million. Read more here.
Chambers Earn Sullivan County Designation
Retiree Attraction Joint Effort Yields Recognition

A joint retiree recruitment effort of the Bristol and Kingsport chambers of commerce - under the umbrella of NETWORKS - has earned the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC) Seal of Approval. This distinction recognizes communities that demonstrate a cutting-edge commitment to attract retirees through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication programs, and education.