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Haslam Emphasizes Regional Economic Development Strategies

OAK RIDGE -- Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam today emphasized regional economic develop strategies to spur job growth during an event in Oak Ridge.

Haslam's tour took him from Kingsport and Johnson to Jackson and Memphis, discussing core ideas behind his priorities of job growth, continuing reform in education and efficient and effective government.

Speaking at the Y-12 New Hope Center in Oak Ridge with Y-12, ORNL and University of Tennessee officials, Haslam highlighted Innovation Valley, Inc., ORNL and UT-Battelle for their work together in creating a truly regional approach to economic development.

"UT-Battelle and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have formed a powerful partnership that is having a tremendous positive effect on the region," Haslam said. "The partnership advances new technologies that translate into high quality jobs for the region and offers unique assets such as Kraken, UT's supercomputer, to leverage and open up a digital hub in the state.

"The relationship has other reaching effects; it has been part of the push for UT to achieve Top 25 research status and it has sparked a regional economic development strategy around the lab and spinoff companies," Haslam added. "By creating specific regional strategies across the state we aim to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

Earlier in the week during the Swing Tour, Haslam highlighted his focus on making sure each school has a great principal and working to make Tennessee the best place to start or grow a business.

In Jackson Wednesday, he stressed rural economic development strategies before heading to Memphis and discussing leveraging existing assets for economic development.

Published January 13, 2011

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