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Weekend edition November 12, 2021 | Kailyn Lamb

CGI hosts an open house and more Knoxville area news

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region. If you have some business news that you would like to be included in Teknovation Weekend, please email us at

CGI Holds Open House

CGI Inc., one of the largest independent information (IT) technology and business consulting services firms in the world, held an open house on Tuesday at its temporary location in downtown Knoxville.

As noted in this article from February, the Knoxville Delivery Center is the company’s eighth U.S. location. Matt Kittrell, Director of Consulting Delivery for CGI’s local operation, presided at the event. He was joined by colleagues from Washington, DC, Tampa, Chattanooga and Birmingham.

During one of his presentations, Kittrell talked about how quickly CGI has become engaged in the community. He: (1) described the Knoxville Chamber as our “way-finding partner” as we look for synergies in the community; (2) noted that six senior executives from CGI provided coaching and mentoring to seven different area start-ups who participated in the “Innov865 Week Raising and Rising” event; (3) talked about CGI Knoxville members coaching and mentoring three different teams from Knox County Schools and YO!STEM for the “Congressional App Challenge”; and (4) cited numerous relationships with the University of Tennessee Knoxville including the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, Premier Partner in the Supply Chain Forum, Masters Capstone project sponsor for Business Analytics and Statistics, and curriculum advisors for the Tickle College of Engineering’s emerging programs in Fin Tech and Data Science.

CGI, which is a Montreal-based company, said it will invest $27 million and create 300 jobs over the next five years in Knoxville.

Knoxville Chamber White Paper Release Event

The Knoxville Chamber recently announced that it has released the latest in its “Path to Prosperity” growth strategy. The “Infrastructure Redefined” white paper offers both short- and long-term recommendations for the community to consider while driving regional economic prosperity.

According to data from Redfin, the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was ranked number 26 on a list of 30 fastest-growing populations based on net inflow. Knoxville has the lowest cost of living on the list.

“Supportive infrastructure is needed to convert growth into prosperity and increased revenue into strategic investment,” the release said.

“Infrastructure Redefined” features three recommendations, focused on supporting projects that support economic growth, supporting infrastructure projects that help with workforce development, and transportation safety and congestions improvements.

“Paramount to this strategy is an acknowledgement that growth is good and necessary to retain and attract talent and jobs,” said Nancy Nabors, Director of Regional Enhancement at the Knoxville Chamber in the release. “Infrastructure is a broad topic. It covers everything from interstate congestion to housing/development to broadband.”

The Chamber will host a release event for “Infrastructure Redefined” on December 9, which will feature subject matter experts. The virtual event starts at 8:30 a.m. RSVP here.

Find the full strategy here.

Business Openings

The Middle Path held a ribbon cutting for its new GI For Kids facility in southwest Knoxville. Middle Path focuses on mental health and Intensive Outpatient Programs for kids. The company has several locations throughout East Tennessee, as well as one in Charleston.

New Developments

Ephant Group recently announced it would be investing $9 million in redeveloping the Hope Brothers Building in Downtown Knoxville. The building will be home to the new boutique Hotel Cleo, expected to open in spring 2022. The hotel will also have a bar and restaurant, Lilou, which will be accessible from the hotel lobby. Ephant Group manages several other hotel properties throughout Knoxville, East Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Dominion Group also announced a new development project, this one in the form of a new apartment complex. The $60 million project will include 230 units, some retail space, and new public and private parking options in South Knoxville.

SL Tennessee made a land donation to Roane State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) for the new Anderson County Higher Education Center, according to a news release. The seven-acre plot will house Roane State’s mechatronics facility and TCAT classes will be housed in a new 48,000-square-foot building. Roane state will also have dedicated lab space for robotics and injection molding, while TCAT will offer programming in welding, diesel powered equipment technology, auto tech, industrial maintenance, building trades, and workforce development. Students are expected to start classes in the building in January. Learn more about the facility here.

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