Haslam unveils Jobs4TN plan as blueprint for economic growth

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 1:58pm

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will restructure the state’s business recruitment efforts, setting up “jobs base camps” across the state and eliminating government red tape.

Calling it his Jobs4TN plan, the governor said his blueprint for economic growth was developed over 45 days and involved interviews with more than 300 business and community leaders as well as national experts.

“My top priority is for Tennessee to be the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs,” Haslam said. “Our Jobs4TN plan is a blueprint for doing just that. By leveraging our existing assets in each region, we will be able to attract new businesses to the state while helping our existing businesses expand and remain competitive. We will also be making significant investments in innovation to position Tennessee as a national leader well into the future.”

Haslam said his administration will focus its recruitment efforts on target clusters in which he believes the state has a competitive advantage: automotive, chemicals and plastics, transportation, logistics and distribution services, business services, health care, advanced manufacturing and energy technologies.

The state Department of Economic and Community Development will restructure its field staff to start “jobs base camps” in each of nine regions across the state, then work with local business and community leaders to recruit companies.

The governor said he asked ECD to review federal and state business regulations and identify those that inhibit job growth.

To implement the plan, Haslam said ECD will undergo a reorganization that will result in a new senior leadership team and a 35 percent reduction in staff. He said ECD is the first state agency to complete the “top-to-bottom review” that he ordered across state government when he took office.

“In an age of limited resources, Tennessee taxpayers want the state to focus on those activities that will result in a substantial return on investment,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said.

22 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 4/20/11 at 12:02

This should shut up the "what about jobs" crowd...


By: foxeyes2 on 4/20/11 at 12:38

What red tape is going to be cut? There are some regulations that are in place for a reason, to protect citizens and the environment that should not be done away with.

Also they are cutting the department by 35%. How many jobs is that? How many people will be affected? Does this mean that the remaining staff will have to do their job plus 1/3 of someone elses?
Recruiting companies to Tennessee is a great idea and one I support whole heartedly but would like more details of Haslam's plan.

By: Antisocialite on 4/20/11 at 12:57

Could this 'plan' be any more lacking in detail?

Whether it's Haslam holding back details or just shoddy reporting, I would sure love to hear some more specifics about this.

By: revo-lou on 4/20/11 at 1:46

Actually gd, it sounds like Haslam is just throwing that crowd a bone. I would expect for this plan of course to include this crap of a plan for tort reform, never mind that we just got another announcement today about a plant opening in Smyrna to supply parts, and employing 63 folks. In fact, the president of said company gushed about how excited and happy they were to be locating here in TN, just as the situation is RIGHT NOW.

By: gdiafante on 4/20/11 at 1:54

"Actually gd, it sounds like Haslam is just throwing that crowd a bone."


By: Ingleweird on 4/20/11 at 1:59

So, this "blueprint" was developed over 45 days; Haslam has been in office 95 days (starting Jan. 15). So what in the hell has this governor been doing for the remaining 50 days he's been in office?

By: JeffF on 4/20/11 at 3:01

I am just happy the state leadership has not fallen under the spell of the tourism and meetings crowd like our current Nashville administration has. Jobs and economies are not built on the industry with the lowest pay, lowest benefits, and highest unemployment rates.

Glad to see the state will not be wasting resources on that crap.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 4/21/11 at 7:52

The "jobs plan" just sounds like a way to do special favors for big business.

By: LizzyD on 4/21/11 at 8:11

Nashville long ago gave away its soul to the corporate devils. Nothing new at all on that front, apparently.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/21/11 at 8:12

Moonglow1: Haslam & his administration believe in creationism. God snapped his fingers & behold the earth was created in 7 days. Haslam snaps the computer keys & behold he creates a jobs plan in 45 days. Behold he snaps his fingers again we get tort reform, union busting, and anti gay bias law overturned which all serve to create jobs according to this "creative" theo-tea nut legislative body. And "job base camps? ". Is this the Boy Scouts? We are going to camp? Maybe he will create jobs for the homeless by having them put up tents for the attendees of the jobs camps.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/21/11 at 8:42

Deregulations, translate into anything the employer wants is just find with Republicans. Get the jobs at any cost.

I am afraid that I was wrong about Haslam. He is a business man and profit and the bottom line is all that matters.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/21/11 at 8:49

Moonglow1: I hope he is not dumb enough to swap out the $$$ brought in by tourism to deregulate coal even more. There goes our mountain tops. No more Rocky Top. It is Haslam "over the top. "

By: joe41 on 4/21/11 at 8:50

Where is the blueprint?

By: Kosh III on 4/21/11 at 9:47

Only the GOP can call a 35% layoff "job creation. "

By: american1974 on 4/21/11 at 10:28

What a catch 22 to live in a industrialized society. The progressive concept that more jobs, money and material things will make you happier. Nobody lives off the land as a family, consuming what the mostly produce. Actually there are hardly any fathers or families around either. 95% of everyone in America is living in a unnatural state and most are confused because of it.
Yes, if you want more jobs. There should be no red tape. Those who create laws to protect it's citizens create force. Force is not freedom or liberty. So business owners will risk their 5 million dollar loans elsewhere to open factories and business.
However do you want more jobs and factories? I guess we have no choice. Progressiveness never defines its final object. It's an endless war against a natural state of existence.
Democrats support progressiveness and the endless war upon ourselves to destroy society in the name of progress. Republicans support the big business that supports progressiveness. (Which we need to survive in this unnatural state.) Each dollar the Fed spends instead of it coming from the private sector. is a .20% loss on each dollar. I would say we are screwed either way. Most reading this have no idea what I'm talking about.

By: dnewton on 4/21/11 at 12:02

I hope those who are laid off will get free psychological counseling. The have suffered the most outrageous brainwashing and deserve our every consideration and concern. The entire E&CD should be shut down. They are really good at taking credit but lousy at counting their failures.

EC&D has never denied a certificate of need for an industrial park because it was not economically sound and have thus suffered and permitted millions of dollars to be wasted on goofy and unproductive industrial parks some of which was acquired by condemnation. We have enough industrial parks in this state to move every factory plus its parking requirement in the U.S. to Tennessee. Furthermore, they are also partially responsible for the wastage of millions of dollars of transportation money on useless Interstate connectors that are built just in case something might happen rather than serving the on going need that is happening right now. There has been no reversal in the decline of manufacturing jobs since about 1984 in Tennessee and about 1979, in the U.S. EC&D is a monkey-see-monkey-do organization that is just doing what everybody else is doing and getting about the same results. That decline is not because we don't have ready-to-go industrial parks, it is because of the constant upward pressure on the cost of labor via progressive taxation. Manufacturer's have responded by mechanizing and increasing output per unit of labor input. The dollar amount of manufacturing goes up every year but the adjusted real value of wages is flat. This begs the question: Why are we recruiting jobs that have this economic profile?

EC&D is a waste of time and talent. They encourage the construction of infrastructure that has no paying customers to pay for it. That means that the existing customer base is required to pay first for the installation and second for the on going maintenance of utilities that are not used at all or under utilized. If EC&D did not exist, people would just open or not open a plant rather than troll the legislatures, state and local, for bribes first.

By: Kosh III on 4/21/11 at 12:30

How many of this 35% are the highly paid "friends" who have no qualification other than knowing someone? How many are the low-paid employees who do the actual work.

Rhetorical question of course, we know the answer.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/21/11 at 12:33

Wow, no wonder you are all liberal idiots. You wait for the "City Paper" to bring you everything you need to know, instead of going out and finding it for yourselves.


Not saying the plan is perfect, but geez, there is less info in this article that there was in the press release. At least wait until you read what he has to say before you go stoning him and every business minded person out there.

By: pswindle on 4/21/11 at 12:36

I can't believe that Haslam is all talk and no action. He has no ideas what to do. Just general conversation with no sustance.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/21/11 at 12:48

My major concern about the plan is the the EDC will become very "top heavy". But other than that, it might just work. It keeping Gays out of the workforce as a plan to boot business. :)

By: Gary Lampman on 4/21/11 at 8:08

Jobs 4 Tennessee ? Sounds like hog wash and another unfounded,unfunded and vague program. Creating some phoney plan to insure lower wages and expecting 500 business's to do something is yet to be seen. Those of you who think that people should shut up about jobs. Should probably rethink this vague and unimplimented program and consider the length of time to do so is Non specific.

Wow , it sounds so great but for those out of work today and or for months. It does Not pay the Bills !! Thus you should shut up!

Haslems announcement can simply mean that the jobs programs ensure that Livable Wages become minimum wages. Just Having a Job that cuts your revenue to favor Low Balling employees below a livable threshold will do nothing for workers. However, If your stupid enough to understand Haslem's Motivations is to create good jobs. No ! Haslem wants to Help Business's drive down Wages. To Create Jobs?

By: pswindle on 4/22/11 at 12:42

Haslam is the joke that we voted in. He will tell the busineses that this is the time to hire. The workers can work 20 hours of week and that will get them off the unemployment books. They can start out working for peanuts and no chance of advancement. Haslam is a true GOP businessman.