Public Policy

Public Policy Overview


For more than 25 years the Chamber of Commerce of Blount County, Knoxville and Oak Ridge have worked together to develop a regional legislative agenda to identify state issues of importance and increase job and business growth in the region. The following items will be the primary focus of the joint efforts of the Blount County Chamber, Knoxville Chamber and the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce during the 2019 session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Economic Development

To attract, retain and expand business in our region, we:

  • Support local governments’ continued ability to promote economic development and affordable housing through public/private partnerships (TIF, PILOT and Housing Tax Credits) and encourage the State of Tennessee to promote and support these efforts
  • Enhance infrastructure and training incentives and establish technology-driven incentives

Education and Workforce Development

To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future, we:

  • Support continued implementation in elementary, middle and high schools of the TN Ready standards, assessments and their use in evaluating educators’ effectiveness
  • Support and accountability model for Tennessee school systems that includes a measure of quality career and technical education, including industry-recognized certifications, work-based leaning, dual enrollment and post-secondary opportunities to help reach the state’s goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans by 2025 holding postsecondary credentials
  • Support continuation of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other initiatives that encourage attendance and completion of post-secondary training
  • Support programs that encourage the retention and attraction of skilled trades and highly educated professions to our region in order to meet the needs of employers and missions in our region
  • Oppose any state action that would result in mandating the election of school system superintendents
  • Enhance infrastructure and training incentives and establish technology-driven incentives

Health Care

To encourage a healthy workforce while not creating financial burden on employers, we:

  • Support health policies, particularly those addressing mental health, substance abuse and addiction which improve the welfare of the state’s workforce

Infrastructure & Transportation

To provide the infrastructure needed for business to succeed, we:

  • Support efforts to recruit low-cost air carriers to McGhee Tyson Airport
  • Support the efforts to develop the Oak Ridge Airport as planned by the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority


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