presidents desk

From the President’s Desk (January 2022)

Reflecting on a Successful 2021 and Wishing a Fond Farewell to a True Chamber and Community Supporter

presidents desk

As we look forward to a vibrant 2022, we first should reflect on 2021. I won’t mention the world health situation, because sadly, we can’t fix that locally, but we have experienced record growth with many positives economically in 2021.

Our community has seen record housing growth which will hopefully put us on the path toward workforce sustainability. A normal year will see Hamblen County pull permits to construct around 50- new houses or apartments per year. 2021 saw that number explode to around 1,000 permits pulled. Retail and commercial growth has also seen our county see record sales tax collections. This growth is always important as sales tax is a large funding source for K-12 education. I think 2022 will see the continued retail development in all parts of our community with many restaurants, retailers and amenities currently not offered in our community today.

I encourage you to continue to remind our elected officials at the national level that our community has plenty of jobs available that pay great wages in our area and their constant need to incentivize people not to work is not encouraged.

For all of the positives of 2021, we did start the year off with a painful announcement. Tennessee College of Applied Technology President Jerry Young has announced his retirement. Jerry also served as a Chamber of Commerce board member. Jerry has been a leader in partnering with K-12 education and industry and providing students with the skills required to move into positions in our community and fill the employment gap for business and industry. Jerry has worked diligently for the new building expansion fronting Morris Blvd that we now see today. This new addition is a wonderful face and representation of the quality of education provided by TCAT and Jerry is to be commended for his work in our community! We will miss him.