Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tennessee is steadily moving in the right direction. #1 in small business job growth.

Today, I attended a meeting of 1st Tuesday where the guest speaker was Randy Boyd, candidate for governor and former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.  He spoke about how Tennessee had experienced tremendous economic growth and was positioned to experience more economic growth due to our low tax bass, industry recruitment,  and the success of programs like the Drive to 55 initiative and the Tennessee Promise program.  He also spoke of the challenges that lay ahead to help rural depressed counties and strategies to insure Tennessee continues to moves forward.

The other day, I read a report that said in a small span of years, six I believe, Tennessee's forth graders had improved their scores in math to where Tennessee now ranked in the mid-20's among the 50 states.  While average may not be much to brag about, it is when you were 47th before you started improving.  Something else I read recently said that in some key measurements of educational achievement, Tennessee was the most improved state in the nation.

This afternoon, I read this story, Tennessee leads the nation in small business job growth. In addition
to being the top state for small business job growth, several Tennessee cities rank high for over all job growth. Also wages have grown in Tennessee.  Last year, Tennessee's wage gain was  the third biggest gain among the 50 states.

I have always been proud of being from Tennessee but sometimes I have been embarrassed by our low ranking on measures of achievement, opportunity,  and well-being compared to other states.  Tennessee usually ranked 47th, or 48th, or 49th.  Always bringing up the rear of almost any ranking, I would think, "Thank God for Mississippi."

Governor Haslam gets a lot of the credit for our recent achievements but there are a lot of people and factors that contributed to our state's success.  There is still a lot of work to do and challenges ahead, but every once in a while we ought to sat back and say, "Job well done."  We are steadily moving in the right direction. We no longer have a reason to be embarrassed.

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