| The Knoxville MSA performed especially
well in the logistics infrastructure poll and in the magazines
Hottest Cities ranking a poll of 80 nationally-recognized
site consultants. Tennessees strong statewide performance in
healthcare costs and the ease of doing business were also important
This recognition is not possible without the regional economic
development efforts embodied in the Innovation Valley concept and
through the Jobs Now! partnership, Hamilton said. It
also takes the cooperation in economic development from our governments
and the contributions of our intellectual and research institutions
like the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Hottest Cities poll
One of reasons the Knoxville MSA performed so well in the Best
Metros for Business & Expansion competition is its Five
Star ranking awarded in Expansion Managements earlier
Hottest Cities poll. That performance places the Knoxville
MSA is among the top 20% of all metros in the opinion of a key group
of business advisers site selection consultants.
When 80 nationally-recognized site consultants acknowledge
Knoxville, it means a lot, said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.
This group influences decisions to locate new businesses or
expand existing ones. A Five Star ranking is a major national recognition.
The regions workforce is another important factor in this
Preparing our workforce to stay competitive is vital,
said Oak Ridge Vice Mayor Jane Miller. Throughout the Knoxville-Oak
Ridge Innovation Valley we recognize the importance of education.
Oak Ridge and other school systems continue to improve.
Were especially proud that Oak Ridge High School was
named the only Gold Star system in Tennessee, Miller said.
It is also vital to have a strong statewide business climate and
the support of state government.
Tennessee did extremely well in two key areas in the magazines
rankings healthcare costs and state government, said
Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. Weve shown how important
it is to work together within the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation
Valley, and weve shown how important it is to work with our
partners at the state level. That cooperation makes a huge difference,
as the wonderful ranking proves.
Healthcare Cost Quotient
Tennessee performed especially well in cost and availability of
medical facilities (6th in nation) and in the cost of healthcare
A statewide ranking about the ease of doing business and how well
the state government managed its financial affairs also helped Knoxvilles
ranking. Tennessee ranked 9th overall, and was especially strong
in the subcategories of Debt Management (1st in the nation) and
Spending (5th). Those factors are important to business.
The Knoxville MSA performed in the top 20% nationally in logistics,
a category considered critical to enabling business expansions and
attracting new industry.
We hear a lot about the importance of location, but you also
have do something with the location, said University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Chancellor Loren Crabtree. You must be able to move goods,
warehouse them and then distribute them.
Were proud that UTs highly-ranked logistics and
supply chain curriculum supports the regions logistics capabilities,
Crabtree said. We continue to seek opportunities to reach
out to area businesses and help build the Innovation Valley.
Hamilton called the news an excellent general indication
of our economic momentum and positive recognition by the national
It shows that the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley is
working together for a bright economic future, he said.
In last years Best Metro for Business and Expansion
competition, the Innovation Valley ranked in the top 20 percent
of all metros. This is the first year Expansion Management divided
the top performing cities into large, mid-sized and smaller size
categories. The mid-sized category includes metros with populations
of 200,000 up to one million. The Knoxville MSA has a population
Knoxville was the only Tennessee city ranked in the top 15 of mid-sized
cities. In the large city category, Nashville ranked 11th. No Tennessee
cities appear in the top 15 list of smaller metro areas. Placing
first and second, respectively, in the mid-sized cities list were
Raleigh, North Carolina, and Omaha, Nebraska. Madison, Wisconsin,
finished in fourth place behind Knoxville.
The Innovation Valley earned numerous other honors in the past
5th in national Best Places for Business and Career competition
1st in Best Place for Recent College Graduates poll (Economic Research
1st - The top mid-sized city in nation in the Best Places for Relocating
a Family poll (Worldwide ERC)
One of top 100 places to retire (Where to Retire magazine)
Best Places to Live and Boat (Boating Life magazine)
One of the fastest growing technology hot spots in the United
States (Expansion Management magazine)
For economic stories about the 16-county Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation
Valley, and for the full Expansion Management article, go to the
news section of www.knoxvilleoakridge.org.