Jobs for Tennesseans: The Important Role of TN’s Department of Economic & Community Development
Manage episode 289356245 series 2623091
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- Guest Bob Rolfe, Tennessee’s Economic and Community Development Commissioner, graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in marketing and ended up working in the finance industry.
- After working in several different positions over the years, Comm’r Rolfe was asked by Bill Haslam to work for the state.
- Comm’r Rolfe worked under Randy Boyd and was tasked with keeping programs in rural communities successful.
- Comm’r Rolfe discusses the difference between working in the public sector and the private sector.
- Senator Bailey asks Bob about his job as commissioner.
- Comm’r Rolfe answers the questions with tasks such as recruiting companies to Tennessee and making sure they thrive. If the first two go well, he i s to make sure Tennessee remains in the running for the location of future expansion.
- Another side to the job, is making sure there are programs available in rural communities to ensure they thrive as well.
- Comm’r Rolfe describes a recent win for Tennessee in the company NTT. This is a global brand that will be headquartered in TN, recruiting graduates from universities all over the state.
- Comm’r Rolfe explains Tennessee as being attractive to these large businesses due to our General Assembly being fiscally conservative.
- Comm’r Rolfe explains how California is one of the most unfriendly places to do business due to high-taxes and high regulation.
- The economic growth of the Upper Cumberland had been stagnant until Academy Sports announced they were going to build their distribution center in Cookeville.That put a spotlight on that area and now there have been numerous companies locating there.
- Sen. Bailey asks how the pandemic affected the recruitment of industry. Comm’r Rolfe advised there being an initial pause, but after some time they were able to retain some of the Foriegn Direct Investment projects.
- Comm’r Rolfe states they try to treat companies that already call Tennessee home the same way they treat a new prospective company, they continue to provide support and make sure those companies continue to thrive, that way they will want to keep the next phases of their company in Tennessee.
- They discuss the improvement in electric cars and the interest in getting the companies that manufacture the car batteries into Tennessee.
- They discuss Georgia being our major competitor.
- Comm’r Rolfe sees the ECD’s efforts continuing in the next 5 years. They will continue to focus on the Foriegn Direct Investments and headquarter relocations.
- The person who has made the biggest impact on Comm’r Rolfe is Allen Borden, who has travelled with him on 30+ international trips.
- Comm’r Rolfe describes some of the most interesting CEO’s he’s met on the job and some interesting interactions he’s had. .