Tennessee Valley Authority has designated the Golden Triangle region a Rural Certified Community, recognizing its preparedness for industrial development and investment.
The Golden Triangle is the first multi-county region to receive the designation, according to a Golden Triangle Development LINK press release issued Friday. A total of nine organizations have received the designation in the three years since TVA started the program.
LINK Chief Operating Officer Macaulay Whitaker said the TVA works with Strategic Development Group, an organization which looks at industrial sites and recommends whether the sites are ready for development.
“They’re the type of company we work with when we’re recruiting investment for the area,” she said.
To receive a designation from them will help entice industries to come to the Golden Triangle, she said.
“Programs like these from TVA help us gather important critiques for our community, make improvements and market successfully to potential investment from employers,” LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said in the press release.
Whitaker said in order to receive the designation the LINK had to prepare a presentation for SDG similar to what they would prepare for a site selector and industry considering the area for development, except for the entire region rather than one or two sites. It included information on everything from the region’s demographic analysis to the LINK’s marketing efforts and future planning and development goals.
“It was a very in-depth coverage of both the region’s assets and our approach to recruitment,” she said.
SDG representatives could then give the LINK feedback on the presentation.
SDG Vice President Jeannette Goldsmith said the designation encourages rural communities to find creative ways to market themselves to industries.
“Creativity and innovation are among our country’s greatest resources and companies are seeking locations that can provide access to those resources,” she said in the press release. “Rural communities must work smarter to define themselves in a unique way, develop robust and broadly defined economic development strategies, and market to a more targeted audience.”
Whitaker also said that economically the region is doing better than expected at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, with several prospective industries looking at sites in the Golden Triangle.