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Wells Fargo chief economist: Interest hikes coming; willingness to embrace deficits is surprising

Photo above: John Silvia, chief economist, Wells Fargo, at Bristol’s Paramount Center, Oct. 19. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson The chief economist for Wells Fargo told a crowd of a few dozen businesspeople in Bristol last month that it’s virtually a given that interest rate hikes are on the way, but that no one should hold their breath waiting for politicians in Washington to start putting hard ...

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Region’s manufacturers announce growth in October

The region’s manufacturing economy got a boost in October from two expansions and one acquisition. Jarden Zinc will add jobs in Greene County, Techni-Glass will add jobs in Hawkins County. General Shale announced it will acquire Columbus Brick Co. Jardin Zinc Jarden Zinc Products officials announced in October the company will expand its operations in Greene County. The zinc products manufacturer plans to c ...

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GO Virginia issues call for projects in need of funding

$500,000 available for projects that fund region’s economy The wait is over for entrepreneurs who believe they have a great idea for a business that could create jobs and economic opportunity in Southwest Virginia. The GO Virginia Region One Council, which includes the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Russell, Smyth, Washington, Wythe, Bland, Grayson, Carroll and the cities of No ...

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Faith in the Future honorees named

Photo above: The 2017 class of Faith in the Future award winners is the eighth class of honorees named. Photo by Jeff Derby The winners of the 2017 CenturyLink Faith in the Future Awards were recognized at a luncheon event coordinated by CenturyLink and The Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County.  Recipients were evaluated based on their commitment to the future of their bus ...

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No. 1 with a bullet – and brunch

Photo above: Sarah Goodpaster and Jason Reed Because of changes in the economics of touring, it’s been some time since the No. 1 band in America played a live show in the Tri-Cities. The venues built to house such shows are not viable in today’s marketplace. In fact, in a recent documentary, a tour manager who has been working since the 1970s looked back with nostalgia on the days when he could book moneyma ...

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A time for guarded optimism

By Scott Robertson Since 1988, this publication has trumpeted the virtues of a regional approach to economic activity in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The wisdom of a unified effort to attract jobs and capital investment, to address problems both economic and societal, and to change negative perceptions of the region held by those outside our borders has been apparent to several publishers, mu ...

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Virginia Says “Yes” – Mountain States, Wellmont merger approved with conditions

The Virginia Department of Health has given its blessing to the proposed merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System - with conditions. The letter to the two systems from Virginia Health Commissioner Marissa Levine was published on the VDH website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/96/2017/10/Order-and-letter-authorizing-a-cooperative-agreement.pdf "I find that by a ...

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United Way of Southwest Virginia announces IGNITE expansion: Food City, Mountain States back workforce development initiative

Photo above: Travis Staton speaks as Stephen Moret, Steve Smith, Alan Levine and Scott Robertson look on. The CEOs of two of the region’s five largest employers have thrown their support behind a workforce development initiative designed to bridge the gap between education and employment in Southwest Virginia. Alan Levine of Mountain States Health Alliance and Steve Smith of Food City joined Travis Staton, ...

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Dominion pitches mine-water electricity generation plan

Image courtesy Dominion Power By Scott Robertson Dominion Power officials met with residents in Big Stone Gap and Tazewell, Va., Oct. 3 and 4 to share the company’s vision for pumped hydroelectric power stations in one or both communities. The idea of using abandoned coal mines as sites for hydroelectric facilities has been gaining steam this year, with support from the governor, the House of Delegates and ...

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