By Jill Penley
Economic development for Tennessee communities is about more than recruitment and incentives.
It is the mission of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, or TNECD, to develop strategies, which help make Tennessee the top location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. To help implement growth strategies, TNECD awards ThreeStar grants, which distribute funds to support local health, public safety, economic development, and education initiatives.
“It is an honor to represent a county that is recognized as a Three Star Community,” said Mike Taylor, Johnson County Mayor. “We were very happy to receive $25,000 this year.”
According to Taylor, the funds will be used towards efforts to improve ACT scores of Johnson County High School students and to support the robotics team.
The Three Star Grant, which is a very competitive grant and awarded based on presented need, helps communities develop strategies and plan activities to address goals in five key focus areas of community development including jobs and economic development, fiscal strength and government efficiency, public safety, health and welfare, and education and workforce development. The
program encourages local community leaders, representing these areas, through the Joint Economic and Community Development Boards (JECDB) to implement
activities that will impact these issues.
In total, the Tennessee Economic and Community Development (TNECD) board awarded $955,000 to Tennessee communities through this round of the ThreeStar Grant program. TNECD is committed to helping communities in the areas that they prioritize on a local level. The projects are new programs or expand upon existing programs. All are based on the communities’ ThreeStar planning process.
The community’s senator and representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly supported each application.
For more information on the ThreeStar program go to TN.gov/ECD/ThreeStar.