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Qarni talks workforce development with education, business leaders: New Virginia secretary of education hears success stories, areas of need for greater focus

Photo above: Dr. Brian Ratliff speaks during the roundtable discussion at Food City corporate headquarters. By Scott Robertson Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni, a former civics teacher from Prince William County, made his first foray into Southwest Virginia in March, meeting with educators and business leaders. “We want to focus on literacy in general, but on financial literacy – a couple of years ag ...

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Northeast Tennessee projects receive major ECD grants: Bristol, Erwin and Blountville projects to receive a total of $2 million

Photo above: The 30-acre portion of Partnership Park II in Bristol slated for grading work is highlighted in this rendering, courtesy NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership. By Scott Robertson After hosting presentations from NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) , the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced in March it will awar ...

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HCA buying Asheville-based Mission Health: Levine predicts little impact on Ballad

By Scott Robertson Mission Health, which operates six hospitals and health facilities in Western North Carolina and competes for medical professionals and patients with Northeast Tennessee-based Ballad Health, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to merge with Nashville-based HCA. Ballad Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said the day after the announcement he does not anticipate significant changes in the competi ...

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Dang it, we can do this

By Scott Robertson US News & World Report (USN&WR) ran an article recently about Johnson City, Tennessee. The thrust of the piece was that even though the city has high availability of quality health care, it does not crack the list of top 500 healthiest cities in the nation. The same statement could be made in general terms for the entire region. Health care is available, but the population is less ...

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Citizens Bank names Estepp president

Larry R. Estepp has been promoted to president of Citizens Bank, an $825 million (assets) community bank headquartered in East Tennessee. Estepp was previously executive vice president of commercial lending, and has been a business banking officer with Citizens Bank since 2011. Estepp becomes the seventh president of Citizens Bank, and assumes his new position following Bill Dudney’s retirement. Dudney was ...

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Printers and Publishers Unite to Launch Coalition to Stop Baseless Newsprint Tariffs

On March 20, members of the printing, publishing and paper-producing industries, which employ more than 600,000 workers, have formed "Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP)", a coalition to fight proposed countervailing duties (CVD) and anti-dumping duties (AD) on imports of Canadian uncoated groundwood papers including newsprint and other papers. These preliminary duties, which were assessed by ...

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Airport gets “good result” on bond sale

Six entities bid Monday on the $8.5 million bond issue to finance work at Tri-Cities Airport's Aerospace Park. The result, said Airport Director Patrick Wilson, was a true interest cost of 3.573 percent. "That came in lower than we had anticipated. We had been expecting a rate of around 3.83 percent." The difference between the actual bid and the expected bid is around $320,000 in lower overall interest cos ...

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Eastman recognized for sustained support of U.S. National Guard and Reserves

From left: Jerry Bush, Northeast Tennessee ESGR Committee Vice Chair; Etta Clark, Eastman Vice President of Global Public Affairs & Policy; Todd Akard, Eastman Recruiter; CeeGee McCord, Eastman Director Global Public & Community Affairs; Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Mungenast, ESGR State Chair; Perry Stuckey, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Brandon Horne, Eastman Operato ...

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Business Journal Market Facts

Welcome to the second edition of Market Facts, the younger sibling of The Business Journal’s Book of Lists. In the following pages, you’ll find facts that define our region, from demographics to wage data to housing and retail information. New this year is a section on data gathered from a 50-mile radius of Tri-Cities Airport, the center of the Tri-Cities region. We often preach that economic developers don ...

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