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A third prime industrial site in Roane County — the Jones Road site in Roane Regional Business and Technology Park — has successfully been certified through the SelectTN state program.
“In the industrial recruiting world, a certified site is the cream of the crop,” said Leslie Henderson, President/CEO of The Roane Alliance, which includes the Roane County Industrial Development Board.
The Jones Road site is the county’s latest to achieve the coveted certification in Roane County.
The Horizon Center, Development Area 6 in the Oak Ridge part of the county and the Cardiff Valley site in the Roane County Industrial Park were certified through SelectTN’s first two rounds earlier this year.
“These sites have been so thoroughly vetted that industrial site consultants can feel comfortable that they are truly shovel ready,” Henderson said.
“It was a tremendous investment of time and money over the past year – and I need to give credit to Darrell Williams and Teresa Jackson for carrying the lion’s share of the load — but when the goal is to get an edge over our competition the investment has been well worth it.”
To receive the designation, sites are required to meet rigorous criteria, through a lengthy, detailed process administered for the state by Austin Consulting.
“We are one of only two counties in the state with three certified sites,” said Williams, The Roane Alliance’s vice president of business development.
“Since a certified site means reduced risk to developers, that makes them rise to the top of the stack, and that is exactly what we’re going for.”
Launched by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in 2012, SelectTN was created to help Tennessee communities prepare available sites for investment and expansion.
“When The Roane Regional Business and Technology Park opened, many people knew the location was considered prime due to the proximity of two major interstates,” noted state Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston.
“I’m very thankful to the staff at The Roane Alliance for continuing that hard-working tradition.”
Roane County Executive Ron Woody said he’s thrilled about the county’s prestigious status with SelectTN.
“I am thankful to the state for its work in recognizing what I’ve said before — Roane County sits in the crossroads of America and is poised to attract the best of business here,” Woody said.
Bill Hagarty, Tennessee Economic and Community Development commissioner, noted that considerable due diligence is required for a site to achieve certification.
“This is a tremendous achievement for your community and indicative of significant hard work and preparation,” Hagerty wrote in his letter to The Roane Alliance.
“The steps you have taken to ensure your site is a premier location for site selectors and industrial prospects will position your community for success.”
Brandon Talbert of the Austin Consulting Co. was also complimentary of the work that went into the Jones Road certification.
“The careful documentation and disclosures provides the necessary assurances to future end-users that development at the Jones Road Site can commence with little delay,” he said.
The designation was also applauded by state Sen. Ken Yager.
“Competitive counties, like Roane, have worked hard to site and build full-service industrial parks,” the Harriman Republican said.
Yager said the certification “is quite a compliment to those efforts and will result in even more jobs.”
The Roane Alliance is Roane County’s economic development organization.
In addition to the Roane County Industrial Board, other partners include the Roane County Chamber and the Visitor’s Bureau.