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Tri-Cities Airport Authority moves forward on Aerospace Park: Sends letter asking state legislator to stop pushing controversial bill

The hole and the hill. Dirt from the hill that rises above the runway must be moved into the hundred-foot valley next to it. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson The Tri-Cities Airport Authority moved forward in February with plans to spend the money necessary to begin site work for the next phase of Aerospace Park, even as a state legislator sought to take over the process. At its Feb. 22 meeting, t ...

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King University issues retail, employment report analyses

KIRES Professors Alexander Brumlik and Sam Evans. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson A pair of reports issued last month by the King Institute for Regional Economic Studies (KIRES) show the interconnectedness of the two topics in the regional economy. The reports, released around the 10th anniversary of the Great Recession, give room for guarded optimism. Immediately following the recession, there ...

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Immediate distraction: Proprietary information bill mars Ballad Health rollout

Alan Levine, Ballad chairman and CEO. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson When Ballad Health Chairman and CEO Alan Levine met with The Business Journal in late February, he probably would rather the conversation had centered on plans for a new pediatric trauma center, or a residential addiction treatment facility, or pediatric emergency departments in Kingsport and Bristol. Instead, he opened the co ...

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Opioids: a multi-tiered approach to a multi-faceted problem

By Scott Robertson At some point in the last five to ten years, workforce became the most important factor in business site selection, outpacing location, available infrastructure and incentives. At some point in the last two to three years, opioid-related issues became the most important factor in workforce disqualification, outdistancing education. The effort to stem the opioid crisis, until recently only ...

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Costa: Eastman will only support regional economic development effort

Mark Costa speaks a the Eastman Leaders Breakfast Feb. 22.  Photo by Gabriel Logan By Scott Robertson Several months ago, Eastman Chairman and CEO Mark Costa quietly convened a meeting of the top executives of several of the region’s major employers, including Alan Levine, (CEO of then-Mountain States Health Alliance, now Ballad Health), Scott Niswonger, executive chairman of Landair Transport, Dr. Brian No ...

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“CareerQuest: It’s All About Business” is all about career readiness

Photo above: Preston Conway pitches his business idea, @Home, to the shark tank panel. Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson More than 300 students from school systems in eight Northeast Tennessee counties took part March 2 in CareerQuest USA Tennessee’s It’s All About Business event at Northeast State Community College. The event is an outgrowth of CareerQuest USA Tennessee, a career fair that last ...

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Roan Scholars’ first steps toward Pulitzer Prizes

By Scott Robertson A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to sit with a group of ETSU Roan Scholars at a speaking engagement by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Friedman defies traditional political labels. He is certainly not a conservative. Liberals loved his recent excoriation of the President of the United States’ unwillingness or inability to stand up to Russia. But conservatives can apprecia ...

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Opportunity Zones data on its way to state capitols

The tax reform package of 2017 included a program allowing governors to establish areas known as Opportunity Zones in their respective states, as a way to encourage private investment in low-income areas. The program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing in census tracts where wages are low, but opportunities ...

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Bell rebrands

Bell Helicopter, the Textron Inc. company and major global aircraft manufacturer operating a facility in Piney Flats, revealed this week it has rebranded to be known as simply “Bell.” The new brand strategy and modernized logo are rooted in the company’s focus on innovation and customer experience. Bell will roll out the rebrand over the next year. “Bell has always been about more than just helicopters. Our ...

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