Tennessee’s economy has seen tremendous growth over the last several years—and our state’s business community wants to make sure it keeps growing.
That’s why nearly 200 businesses have formed Tennessee Thrives, a coalition dedicated to promoting an attractive, prosperous and economically vibrant Tennessee. Chief among Tennessee Thrives’ concerns is that our state maintain an open and inclusive businesses environment.
The coalition currently includes some of Tennessee’s biggest, most well-known employers, like Louisiana-Pacific Corporation CEO Curt Stevens:
“At LP, we are known by the quality of building products we produce. Our strength, though, is our diverse team of nearly 5,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and South America. We all have unique talents, special interests, speak different languages and come from multi-cultural backgrounds. We see this diversity and inclusion as a strength of LP and believe that is good for business, our employees and the communities in which we operate.”
Why is creating a welcoming a welcoming so important for Tennessee businesses? Because Tennessee’s economy is seeing more and more outside investment—meaning our state’s nationwide reputation has never been more important. For example, tourism brought in $18 billion in revenue in 2014. That’s up 6 percent since 2014, and that number is expected to grow.
CMT president Brian Philips knows just how big an impact reputation can have on the tourism and entertainment industry—that’s why he’s also a member of Tennessee Thrives:
“Viacom and CMT have a deep commitment to tolerance, diversity and inclusion and believe these values are vital to the success of our business. That’s why CMT is proud to stand with the Tennessee Thrives coalition as we all work together to support continued growth and prosperity in Tennessee.”
And Tennessee’s growth depends on even more than national profile—it depends on our international profile as well. In the last several years, more than 300 international companies representing 27 countries have chosen to locate operations in Tennessee. That investment has created a total of 49,000 jobs for Tennesseans.
This outside investment is the main reason Tennessee leads the nation in private-sector job growth, with more than 2.5 million private-sector jobs across the state. Members of Tennessee thrives don’t want to see anything put the brakes on that job growth, and that includes barriers that make it harder for employees and companies to bring their talents and dollars here.
We believe that when Tennessee is welcoming to all people—regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity—our businesses and our communities win.
If you’re a business and community leader who wants to join us in helping ensure the right policies remain in place for continued economic success, click here to learn more and sign the Tennessee Thrives pledge.