Haslam talks about bringing jobs to Memphis

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was in Memphis Wednesday to talk about the strategy and the struggle to bring jobs to the Mid-South.

"The most important thing that I should be doing as governor is to bring more jobs to Tennessee," he said.

Haslam spent the day in Memphis sharing and collecting information about jobs.

"This is a concerted effort focused on Memphis and Southwest Tennessee to bring in sight selection consultants from all over Tennessee," he said. "Those are the people who advise companies when they're looking to relocate."

Memphis' assets in logistics and bio-science were the focus of the 2011 Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Tour.

Haslam spoke about a meeting participants had with FedEx's founder.

"As the world does become more technical in nature, it is our responsibility to train those folks - Fred Smith spoke to that today - people who can fill the jobs who really are there today, number one," Haslam said. "Number two, that we invest in those assets that we already have."

Haslam said Memphis has some incredible assets.

"We have some unique capacity here when you combine St. Jude, the University of Memphis and the UT Center for Health Sciences," he said.

But the governor admitted there are challenges.

"Whether it's an existing business or a business expansion, companies are investing more in technology and that frequently means fewer employees," he said. "That's what makes our jobs even harder as we work to bring more jobs to Tennessee."

About a dozen site selectors spent the day touring locations that showcase the city's economic advantages, like Memphis Bioworks. The tour ends Thursday, when they'll tour fun places, like Graceland.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.