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Study: TVA is Good for Business in Memphis

A new study from the Greater Memphis Chamber makes it clear – TVA is good for business in Memphis.

TVA commissioned The Center for Economic Competitiveness, a subsector of the Greater Memphis Chamber, to review the five-year period from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2020 and complete an economic impact study. In the study, the Center more fully identified, evaluated and articulated the lasting impact of the economic development efforts driven by TVA as it partners with state and local agencies. Read the news release, overview or full report.


The report outlines the financial, societal and growth impact of the expansion of businesses into the City of Memphis. Many organizations indicate that energy service – cost, reliability and clean energy – is a key factor in the decision to expand or move.

The findings are clear: TVA’s efforts in economic development have financial, societal and growth implications for the City of Memphis and the surrounding area – the efforts are accelerating Memphis in the region. When simplifying the findings into solely the numbers, a few specifics stand out:

  • Temporary construction activities supported 6,416 jobs, $434 million in labor income, and $980 million in new sales to county businesses.
  • Upon full operation, new economic impacts across all economic ripple effects amount to over 9,049 new jobs, $741 million in new labor income, $1.8 billion in new sales to area businesses and $1 billion added to the county’s gross domestic product.
  • Retention-based estimates (keeping jobs local) have sustained 6,400+ jobs, $640 million in labor income, $1.3 billion in sales and $820 million in county gross domestic product.

Group of people standing in front of construction equipment

One success story: Groundbreaking ceremony for Amazon fulfillment center in Raleigh area; January 2020.

Attracting new jobs aligned to local skills: Beyond the numbers, the jobs being attracted and retained in Memphis meet the talent market and skillset of Memphians where they currently are – 43 percent of the roles do not require above a high school diploma, which matches the 28 percent of Shelby County residents who do not have higher education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. There is also little on-the-job training required to advance, which provides for longer career paths at the companies.

Diversifying industry in Memphis: During the period studied, the type of company and diversity of sectors is expanding. In the past, many companies moved distribution or logistics operations to Memphis; recently, companies are moving headquarters, broader corporate or significant operations to Memphis. Of the announcements during the study period, 53 percent were headquarters, 41 percent manufacturing and 6 percent distribution. This further expands jobs available, diversifies the caliber of roles and presents opportunities for higher base salaries. Upon completion of all projects and when economic ripple effects are realized, the labor income impact for all jobs (direct, indirect and induced) totals $741.2 million across 9,050 jobs, resulting in an average wage of $81,900, inclusive of benefits.

Creating long-term opportunities: While the construction-related jobs for some of the economic development projects may present one-time opportunities, Memphis is also attracting and retaining companies that will allow these workers to remain in the area after the construction project concludes. The crosswalk of transferrable skills from one sector to another are compatible enough it allows temporary construction workers the opportunity to transfer to longer-term roles within other sectors.

Many partners are involved in the success of economic development, but the numbers and broader trends highlighted in the study demonstrate TVA is directly involved in accelerating the growth of Memphis.

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Success Stories

Read more about the businesses TVA has helped attract or retain in Memphis.