Business Facilities, a trade magazine targeted toward businesses and site selection consultants is high on the Innovation Valley. In the latest edition of the magazine, the Knoxville area is ranked No. 8 amongst fastest growing cities and No. 10 for economic growth potential. The Knoxville metropolitan area currently enjoys the lowest unemployment rate of Tennessee’s metro areas.
“Our 2012 Metro growth rankings show that growth is synonymous with Knoxville,” Business Facilities editor in chief Jack Rogers said. “Few cities can match the combination of assets the Tennessee city brings to the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley. Knoxville has all of the attributes that will enable it to be a growth center for years to come.”
The metro rankings results indicate the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee are high-tech leaders in the country that are helping establish the Innovation Valley as a primary alternative-energy hub.
Dr. Thom Mason, director of ORNL, is also the chairman of the Innovation Valley board of directors. The regional economic development initiative works closely with the publicly funded lab and private industries to bridge the gap between research and the marketplace.
“With an influx of skilled workers and a world-class research infrastructure, we expect Knoxville to continue its upward climb in our key Metro Rankings categories,” Rogers said.
Tennessee as a state is also very well represented in Business Facilities “Rankings Report”, including a first-place ranking in the category of Automotive Manufacturing Strength, a No. 8 ranking for Best Business Climate, and a No. 8 ranking for Economic Growth Potential.
“We’re excited about our economic future in the Innovation Valley and it appears Tennessee as a whole is making the moves necessary to build a world-class workforce that is capable of the type of innovation that can truly shape the world’s future,” Rhonda Rice, the executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber said.
About the Innovation Valley
The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley is a regional economic development initiative centered on a 25-mile technology corridor that is home to some of the world’s most advanced minds. Named the top #1 area in the United States for green job growth in 2011 by Brookings Institute, the Innovation Valley is home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Scripps Networks, Pilot-Flying J, and many more world class organizations.