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Knoxville Regional
Transportation Planning Organization

400 Main St, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

email: contact@planeasttn.org
phone: (865) 215-2500
fax: (865) 215-2068

PlanET to Kick Off 2013 with Regional Symposium: Advancing East Tennessee's Regional Competitiveness


Posted 11/26/2012
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Advancing East Tennessee's Regional Competitiveness is the focus of an upcoming symposium sponsored by Plan East Tennessee in partnership with Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, Inc.


Plan East Tennessee will kick off 2013 with a symposium targeting the regional business community, entitled “Advancing Regional Competitiveness.”

Developed in partnership with Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, Inc., the symposium will feature a series of panel discussions led by local experts that will encourage a frank dialogue among the participants about the relationship between East Tennessee's competitiveness and our heath, education systems and the communities we live in.

Doors will open for the Symposium at the East Tennessee History Center in downtown Knoxville at 12:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 9, 2013, with the event taking place from 1:00-4:30 p.m. A networking reception will follow. Online registration is available at www.planeasttn.org/ETcompetes.

“This event will draw together the wealth of expertise in the region from both the public and private sectors to uncover the critical issues of regional competitiveness for East Tennessee – including a look at where we are now and how to become a more competitive region 10, 20 or 30 years from now,” said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, chairman of PlanET’s board of mayors, which includes mayoral leaders of all five PlanET counties – Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon and Union.

“Competitiveness is not just about job creation and economic growth, although those aspects are cornerstones,” Beehan said. “It’s also about creating a place where people want to live because the quality-of-life drivers are strong.”

Moderated by Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, the symposium will feature panels on preparing East Tennessee’s workforce and positioning the region for prosperity by capitalizing on quality-of-life assets essential to keeping and attracting talent, recruiting industry and retaining businesses in a global marketplace.

The symposium intends to provide a platform for people – particularly professionals from diverse areas of the business community – to share the successes and challenges they’ve experienced, with the aim of advancing dialogue about East Tennessee’s competitiveness for future generations.

As PlanET, which began in late summer 2011, enters its third and final phase in 2013, the symposium will help focus the ideas generated in Phases One and Two to create a targeted, meaningful outcome.

Phase One (August 2011 – July 2012) brought East Tennesseans together to establish a shared identity and vision. Phase Two (April 2012 – March 2013) will take that vision and develop a shared direction with continued citizen input. Phase Three (January 2013 – December 2013) will produce and report the final product and, with continued citizen input, focus on implementation activities.

The public is encouraged to follow PlanET as well as the upcoming symposium online at www.planeasttn.org, on Facebook and on Twitter via @PlanEastTN and #ETCompetes.

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