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BJournal Editor

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Site selection specialist assesses Unicoi County’s industrial development prospects

By Scott Robertson If there is a silver lining to the cloud CSX Railways’ departure left over Unicoi County, it is that the county’s application to the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP) has been accepted, creating opportunities the county otherwise would not have had. PEP is a relatively new program developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development in Nashville. Its stated g ...

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Smith & Wesson purchases Taylor Brands for $85 million

By Scott Robertson Smith & Wesson is best known as a manufacturer of firearms, but Kingsport, Tenn.-based Taylor Brands is bringing a knife to a gun company. The local knife maker has long been licensed to produce product lines under the Smith & Wesson brand. When the sale of Taylor Brands to Smith & Wesson Holding Company (SWHC)’s Battenfield Technologies Division closes later this month, $85 m ...

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Alpha Natural Resources emerges from Chapter 11 as Contura Energy begins operations

By Scott Robertson Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) is back and Contura Energy has arrived. Alpha issued a statement announcing it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 26, the same day Contura announced it had completed the acquisition of what had been Alpha’s key assets. Formed and majority-owned by a group of Alpha’s former first lien lenders, Contura was created to acquire and operate what had been A ...

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The BJ Proust Kobayashi Maru

S ince you are reading a business publication, let us, for the purposes of this column, assume you own or manage a business – or are working toward that end, and therefore are already aware of the difficulties involved in finding, hiring and keeping a qualified workforce. In recent years we have written about local employers’ difficulties finding workers who check several boxes: communication and other soft ...

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Networks: readies for red carpet event

Above: The Core Group of planners meets to discuss logistics of the Red Carpet Tour. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson The economic development game is all about connections. Communities hire economic development professionals to connect with site selection consultants who connect with the companies that can bring jobs back to the communities. The broader a community’s circle of connections grows, ...

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Healthcare Heroes 2016

For the last 23 years, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA has called the attention of the business community to the individuals and organizations that have helped make the provision of health care the largest single industry in the region. It can easily be argued that health care is also the most important industry in the region. After all, without quality health care, no other industry can survive. ...

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Payment reform spurring sea change at clinical level

Above: Bill Spears builds his strength at NHC Health Care in Johnson City. (Photo by Jeff Keeling) By Jeff Keeling (First in a series) Bill Spears pedals a specialized exercise bike inside a therapy room bustling with activity at Johnson City’s NHC Health Care. The Kingsport resident’s arms and legs work in tandem under the watchful eye of a tech. Spears came to NHC from Holston Valley Medical Center, where ...

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Frontier Secure to bring 500 jobs to Wise County

Above: Kelly Morgan, Ron McCall, Kenny Gilley, Jonathan Belcher and Todd McReynolds pose with a check representing VCEDA’s $5.6 million loan. Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Frontier Communications subsidiary Frontier Secure announced on June 29 plans to open a customer service call center in Wise County, Va., investing $10.9 million and creating 500 new jobs in the process. The company has alr ...

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Junior Achievement: Business Hall of Fame 2016

2016 Laureate: Greg Boehling  The words “integrity,” “conscience” and “character” have always been central to the life of Greg Boehling. From his upbringing in Virginia through his career that took him to Texas, South Carolina, Illinois and Alabama, to his ownership of T E C Industrial Maintenance and Construction in Kingsport, Tenn., those concepts have guided his life’s course. Born to Dick and Burnham Bo ...

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Bristol, Va. learns Johnny Mandel was wrong

By Scott Robertson It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. Bristol, Va., is raising taxes and considering cutting services, and a populace that had been generally quiet while the local government plowed ahead on an ill-advised shopping center development is now lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks. It began when Northeast Tennessee developer Stuart Taylor got together with some Ki ...

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