Maximum-Capacity Crowd, Regional Leaders Discuss Future Competitiveness at PlanET Symposium

Posted 01/17/2013

Around 200 business, civic and government leaders were on hand last week to discuss the region’s future economic competitiveness at ETcompetes!, a symposium hosted by PlanET and Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, Inc.

Held at the East Tennessee History Center on January 9, the event was moderated by Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board. He engaged panelists in a candid discussion of how East Tennessee can best position itself to compete on the national and international stages in the future.

Responding to questions submitted by attendees, the panelists shared their insights on topics ranging from preparing the region’s workforce to capitalizing on East Tennessee’s quality-of-life assets that are essential to attracting and keeping talent and industry in a global marketplace.

“This event proved exceptionally valuable as we seek to gain more and more community input and active involvement to establish a shared understanding and direction about where our region’s competitiveness stands now, what its assets are, and how East Tennessee can position itself to be competitive long-term at a global level,” said PlanET Board of Mayors Chairman Tom Beehan.

A video of the entire event is also available online at