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Public Policy

Public Policy Overview


For three decades the Chambers of Commerce of Oak Ridge, Blount County and Knoxville 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 Knoxville Chamber, Blount County Chamber, and Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce during the 2020 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.
  • Support the enhancement of infrastructure and training incentives, and the establishment of technology-driven incentives.

Education & Workforce Development:
To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future, we:

  • Encourage the State of Tennessee to implement a "Work in Tennessee" initiative to attract skilled and educated workers to our State in order to meet the needs of our existing and future employers.
  • Support continued implementation in elementary, middle and high schools of the TN Ready standards, assessments, and their use in evaluating educators' effectiveness.
  • Support an accountability model for Tennessee school systems that includes a measure of quality career and technical education, including industry-recognized certifications, work-based learning, dual enrollment and post-secondary opportunities, to help reach the state's goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans by 2025 holding post-secondary credentials.
  • Support continuation of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other initiatives that encourage attendance and completion of post-secondary training.
  • Oppose any state action that would result in mandating the election of school system superintendents.
  • Enhance infrastructure and training incentives and establish technology-driving 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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