11 Years of Success with Site Selection

11 Years of Success with Site Selection

When TVA was created back in 1933, it was—as much as anything—an economic development agency, meant to lift the hurting Tennessee Valley out of poverty and usher in an era of modernity, electricity and abundance. TVA went to work immediately, building dams to prevent flooding, create a navigable waterway and produce electricity; replacing topsoil to restore a legacy of agricultural stability; and creating an atmosphere conducive to industry.

It succeeded then. It succeeds today.

Here’s proof: For the eleventh straight year, Site Selection magazine has named the Tennessee Valley Authority among the top 10 utilities for economic development.

Citing “service” and “savvy” among the soft criteria, the magazine also crunched some hard numbers to arrive at its list, including corporate facility project jobs and capex numbers from the previous year; straight totals and per-capita calculations; website tools and data; innovative programs and incentives for business; and the utility’s own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends.

TVA succeeds on all scores. Last year, TVA Economic Development racked up an incredible $7.8 billion in investment from 224 companies, and created 76,200 jobs across its seven-state, 80,000 square-mile service region. (Read more about these incredible 2015 results here.)

In the savvy service arena, the magazine notes that the TVA Economic Development team launched InvestPrep™, a product-development program aimed at helping Valley communities market readied building and industrial sites. They created the Tennessee Valley Rural Leadership Institute to train leaders in rural and distressed communities to attract jobs in a challenging environment. And they continue with innovative programs like Valley Sustainable Communities, encouraging participating cities, towns and counties to work toward a triple bottom line: economic growth, environmental sustainability and high quality of life.

In summation, Site Selection quoted TVA CEO Bill Johnson as saying: “Economic Development is in our DNA, and has been right from the start. Some might say that everything TVA does funnels down to strengthening the economy of our region.”

President Franklin Roosevelt and Senator George Norris, at the signing of the TVA Act, might have said the same thing.