Tennessee Economic Development Guide

Welcome to the online edition of Tennessee Economic Development Guide, which takes an informed look at investing, working and living in Tennessee. The Tennessee Economic Development Guide was produced in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Living and Working in Tennessee

Tennessee has used its numerous cost, logistical and innovative advantages to attract some $26 billion, 42 corporate headquarters and 163,000 new jobs – two-thirds of them from expansion of existing business – in the last five years alone. The state has made major inroads as a hub of auto-related manufacturing – it is North American headquarters for Nissan – and it boasts a burgeoning renewable energy sector. German-based Wacker Chemie chose Bradley County for a $1 billion facility to raw material used in solar panels and semiconductors. Hemlock Semiconductor selected Clarksville for a silicon plant, a potential investment that could top $2 billion. And Volkswagen will open a $1 billion assembly operation in Chattanooga in 2011. Tennessee is home to such corporate heavyweights as FedEx, HCA, AutoZone and Dollar General. The state is a health-care innovator in research, delivery and management, and includes renowned facilities such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The state's wide range of high-quality public and private colleges and universities, including the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, are augmented by major research facilities, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Tennessee offers a rich and diverse cultural landscape, from Beale Street blues in Memphis to country music's Nashville roots at the Grand Ole Opry to bluegrass and Americana music in East Tennessee. The state is a scenic wonder, with mountains and waterways providing countless recreation options from the Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River.

Business Climate

Nearly 87,000 farms existed in Tennessee in 2003, but that number dropped to 79,000 in 2008. Farmland during that time decreased from 11.5 million acres to 10.9 million acres.

Quality of Life

Close to 2,000 cities across the United States are certified as Main Street communities, including 23 in Tennessee. Thanks to the Main Street Program, those 23 Tennessee cities now are eye-pleasing,


Tennessee’s ‘Race to the Top’ Win Bolsters State's Schools

When Tennessee joined Delaware in early 2010 as one of only two states to receive millions of dollars from the federal government’s Race to the Top competition, the reaction was swift and positive.


Health Care Manufacturing Strengthens Tennessee's Economy

From Memphis to Chattanooga, Tennesseans are at work every day manufacturing pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other health-care products.

Business Climate

Tennessee Shines for Solar Power Companies

Tennessee’s investment in solar technology is proving a potent economic force, attracting three major manufacturing projects in less than three years.

Tennessee Becomes Location of Choice for Large-Scale, Industry Magnet Projects

Major industries are putting down roots in Tennessee, and their suppliers, vendors and competitors aren’t far behind. With massive new billion-dollar projects.

Corporate Citizens Find a Home in the Volunteer State

In addition to recruiting massive new projects, Tennessee’s economic development leaders also have been successfully luring many corporations

Tennessee Economic Development Guide: 2010

  • Tennessee Becomes Location of Choice for Large-Scale, Industry-Magnet Projects
  • Auto Assembly Operations Rev Up Tennessee's Supply Chain
  • Tennessee Lights the Way With New Solar Investments, Projects
  • Foreign Companies Plant Their Flags in the Volunteer State
  • Business Enterprise Resources Office Help Tennessee's Small Businesses Thrive
  • Race to the Top $500M Win Puts Tennessee Schools on Fast Track
  • Partnership Works To Preserve Tennessee's Farming Heritage and Agricultural Acreage
  • Tennessee's Health-Care Companies Have a Global Reach
  • TNInvestco Program Connects Venture Capital With Entrepreneurs
  • Main Street Program Is Cornerstone of Downtown Revival in Tennessee
  • Cates Landing Port Harbors Big Ambitions
  • Tennessee’s Automotive Industry Is Revved Up and Firing on All Cylinders
  • Tennessee Shines for Solar Power Companies


Demographics page for a comprehensive resource of statistics, numbers and data that are key to the region’s business and economy.

Guide to Services

Links to helpful resources, services providers and businesses that support this project