HOMECONTACTCITY HALLCITY EMPLOYMENTONLINE SERVICEBUSINESSRESIDENTSVISITORS
City of KnoxvilleContact Us
I Want To...
Download Permits & Forms »
Find City Court Info »
Find Next Brush Pickup Date »
Report Traffic Issue »
Retrieve Impounded Vehicle »
News
Enjoy Christmas in the City »
City of Knoxville and Transportation Planning Organization Win Smart Growth Awards »
Knoxville Named a Climate Action Champion by White House »
Knoxville Zoo Offering Buy One, Get One Free Tickets in December »
Affordable Care Act Enrollment Nov. 15-Feb. 15 »
Mobile Food Vendor Program »
Civil Rights Act Anniversary »
Cumberland Connection Blog »
Engineering Department Project Blog »
Like the City on Facebook® »
Follow the City on Twitter »
View Press Releases »
Click Here for Printer Friendly Version
NEWS RELEASES
City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
FOLLOW THE MAYOR
www.facebook.com/mayorrogero
www.twitter.com/mayorrogero

For Immediate Release
Innovation Valley workforce ranks in top 20 percent
Education cited as key to future
KnoxvilleOakRidge.org
View Top 20 Percent List [PDF]
05/09/05 - Forbes ranks Innovation Valley 17th best in nation
May 18, 2005 - The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley has moved into the top 20 percent of metropolitan areas in the nation for worker quality, according to a poll just released by a national trade publication.

In its May edition, Expansion Management magazine, which is circulated to some 50,000 business decision makers across the country, promotes the area from Four Star to Five Star Metro status.

The Knoxville area ranks 63rd in the nation among the nation's 362 metropolitan areas in the magazine's third annual Knowledge Worker Quotient. This is well ahead of our four-star, 89th and 90th rankings, respectively, in the 2004 and 2003 polls.

The article describes top-performing regions as "exceptionally well placed to attract and nurture high-tech companies and entrepreneurs because of their concentration of extremely well educated workers." Rankings are based upon performance in three specific areas: adult education levels among college graduates, number of medical doctors, and research and development (R&D) spending among universities.

"This ranking bodes well for the Innovation Valley's economic future," said Alex Fischer, chairman of the Jobs Now! regional inititiative that supports job growth, capital investment and higher average wages.

The Expansion Management article, however, comes with a warning. Bill King, chief editor, says that regions that want to stay competitive will have to make a major commitment to education.

"As more companies engage in the knowledge sector of the economy, competition for highly educated workers will become even more intense. Metros with a concentration of these workers will prosper, while those that don't, won't," he cautions.

Education is an issue that is taken seriously by Innovation Valley leaders.

"Our commitment to education and support for high-tech and entrepreneurial efforts are key to attracting and retaining well paying jobs in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley," Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam said. "This recognition confirms that these strategies will pay dividends for our economic future."

King, who recently visited the Innovation Valley, bluntly predicts that even regions known for relatively low labor expenses will have a hard time competing in the future with China, India and Mexico – all of whom have extremely low wages and sufficient numbers of educated workers.

The solution, he says, is to aggressively promote education "starting in kindergarten and extending all the way through college and beyond. Companies, he said, "will need educated workers and, if they can't find them in the U.S., they'll look elsewhere."

Fischer thinks the region is up to the challenge.

He points to the Jobs Now! effort, which is supported by more than 170 private and public sector investors throughout the region, as a sign of regional progress.

"We are making strong headway," Fischer said. "The trick now is to constantly improve our workforce training and educational opportunities. There's no substitute for a highly-qualified workforce."

He said the fact that the Innovation Valley has moved up in several national polls in the past six months shows "great momentum."

Earlier this month, Forbes magazine ranked the Innovation Valley as the 17th best place in the nation to do business and have a career. It is the only Tennessee metropolitan area to make the top 20 overall ranking.

In January of this year, Expansion Management ranked the metro area at 14th spot on its list of America's 50 Hottest Cities. Knoxville was not even on the list last year. The region has also been cited recently for its outstanding quality of life compared to other metro areas.
For Immediate Release
PRESS RELEASE INDEX
Add to Favorites
Adobe PDF Reader
Email Page
Font Smaller
Font Normal
Font Larger
Get Directions
Make Home Page
Print Page
RSS/XML Feed
Search A to Z List
Site Map
Traduzca en Español
Translate to More Languages
Dial 3-1-1 For City Services
311. One Number. One Call.
Click Here for Leaf Pickup Schedule
City Departments
Communications »
Community Development »
Community Relations »
Engineering »
Finance Dept. »
Fire Dept. »
Law Dept. »
Mayor's Office »
Parks & Recreation »
Plans Review/Inspections »
Police Dept. »
Policy & Redevelopment »
Public Service »
Special Events »
Sustainability »
List of All Depts. »
Phone List »
Promotions