#6 Tennessee

8.00 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.32 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

7.76 out of 10 in Living Environment

Right to Work?

Expanding Workforce and Education

Tennessee’s Drive to 55 program aims to equip 55% of Tennessee residents with a four-year college degree or certificate by the year 2025. The initiative offers high school seniors tuition-free attendance at any of the state’s 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology. Companies have responded with notable investments and expansions. Last year, GM announced a $788 million expansion at its facility in Maury County, and, in 2015, Nissan further expanded its facility at its Smyrna campus.

From the Governor

“We’re proud that Tennessee remains a place where our dedicated workforce still makes things.” —Gov. Bill Haslam

Key Industries

Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Entertainment, Logistics, Medical Devices

Key Companies

Unum Group
Volkswagen Group of America
Nissan North America
Gulfstream Aircraft
Carlstar Group

Key Contacts

Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

Bob Rolfe, Commissioner
312 Rosa Parks Avenue, 26th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-1888
[email protected]

Key Incentives

FastTrack Program: Offers grants for infrastructure improvements, job training assistance and general economic development to companies that meet job creation and capital investment requirements.

Job Tax Credit: Offers a tax credit of up to $4,500 per job to offset up to half of franchise and excise taxes in any given year for companies that create at least 25 net new jobs and invest at least $500,000.

Industrial Machinery Tax Credit: Offers a 1%–10% tax credit for the purchase, third-party installation and repair of industrial machinery.

Sales and Use Tax Exemptions: Offers various exemptions on sales and use tax for call centers, data centers, headquarters, manufacturers, distributors and R&D operations.


Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development: tnecd.com

Tennessee Valley Authority: tva.com/Economic-Development

Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership: greaterchatt.com

Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County: growth-engine.org

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce: nashvillechamber.com/economic-development

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Drive to 55 aims to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree or certificate to 55% by 2025. Offers free tuition for residents for two-year technical or community college programs.

Big Deals

  • Lowe’s announced in July 2016 it will add 600 new jobs and construct a $100 million fulfillment center in Coopertown.
  • LG Electronics announced in February 2017 it will create 600 new jobs at a $250 million appliance manufacturing facility to be constructed in Clarksville.
  • Nokian Tyres announced in May 2017 it will create 400 new jobs and construct a $360 million tire manufacturing facility in Dayton.
  • Phillips announced in August 2017 it will create 800 jobs and establish a major office hub in Nashville.
  • Automotive supplier DENSO announced in October 2017 it will create 1,000 new jobs and invest $1 billion in a facility in Maryville.

Big Companies

11 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state, including:
HCA Holdings
Dollar General
International Paper
Tractor Supply
LifePoint Health

C-Suite Testimonials

“Tennessee’s excellent business climate and skilled workforce were among the main reasons to establish this facility in Clarksville….It puts us close to our customer base throughout the U.S. Being in Tennessee also gives us an advantage from a logistics standpoint that we couldn’t necessarily find elsewhere.” —William Cho, President and CEO, LG Electronics North America

“We chose Nashville because the city is a long-standing hub for the music industry, has a strong cultural connection to our business, has a vibrant and growing economy and offers a low cost of living and doing business.” —Kris Ahrend, President of Shared Services, Warner Music Group

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