tva logoTennessee Valley Authority

Key Topic

Economic Development

TVA works with local utilities and other strategic partners to promote the economic and social well-being of the people of the Tennessee Valley region by helping to recruit new companies and investments, retain and support existing companies and prepare communities for economic growth.


Economic development is a critical component of TVA's reason for being, dating back to TVA's original charge to advance the physical, social and economic development of the Tennessee Valley region. TVA works to achieve this mission by serving as a catalyst for sustainable economic development in the TVA region.

TVA field representatives throughout the Valley region work with local officials to help companies grow in sustainable, energy efficient ways. TVA's strategic partners include state agencies; local utility officials; regional, state and local economic development associations; chambers of commerce, and community groups.

The sustainable economic development efforts of TVA and its partners help make the Tennessee Valley region a great place to live and work.

Key points

  • TVA economic development programs – including technical services, research and financial assistance – helped spur $5.9 billion in business investments in the TVA service area in fiscal year 2012.
  • TVA's efforts also helped attract or retain 48,000 jobs, bringing TVA's economic development contributions to more than 300,000 new or retained jobs and $32 billion in investment since 2005.
  • TVA's economic development activities helped recruit or expand more than 150 companies and contributed to the following job totals and business investments for the TVA service area in fiscal year 2012:
    • Alabama: 7,800 jobs and $1.2 billion
    • Kentucky: 4,800 jobs and $957 million
    • Middle Tennessee: 11,700 jobs and $1.2 billion
    • Mississippi: 5,100 jobs and $504 million
    • Northeast Tennessee and Virginia:
      6,300 jobs and $506 million
    • Southeast Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina:
      4,450 jobs and $412 million
    • West Tennessee: 8,400 jobs and $1.0 billion

Other economic development achievements in 2012

  • TVA won a Gold Excellence Award for its Megasites program from the International Economic Development Council for excellence in economic development. Megasites teams TVA with local partners to market large industrial tracts to manufacturers. It remains one of TVA's most successful economic development efforts.

    Five Megasites have been sold to Dow Corning/Hemlock Semiconductor, Volkswagen, Paccar, Toyota, and SeverCorr. TVA continues to market two more Megasites near Hopkinsville, Ky., and Stanton, Tenn., to select companies.
  • Four new locations in the Valley region were identified for potential development under TVA's program to attract data centers, raising the total number of potential data center sites to 22.
  • For the seventh year in a row, TVA was named by Site Selection magazine as one of the top 10 North American utilities for economic development achievement.
  • John Bradley, senior vice president of Economic Development, was named one of the Top 10 economic developers in the South by Southern Business and Development magazine.
  • Tim Tidwell, business recruitment specialist, was co-recipient of the first Excellence in Economic Development Award from Site Selectors Guild.
  • TVA staff provided ongoing economic development assistance through the Valley Investment Initiative, technical services, economic research, proposal writing, training and other services.
  • TVA's Rural Development strategy focuses on supporting economic development efforts in rural and economically distressed areas. TVA's Retail Development program helps foster business growth for commercial businesses.
  • TVA offers two award-winning Economic Development websites, and, containing demographics, a searchable building and land database, and other key information about the benefits of the Tennessee Valley region.


November 2012



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