Federal money helps West Tennessee leaders work together to attract new jobs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Federal money helps West Tennessee leaders work together to attract new jobs

HAYWOOD COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - West Tennessee got a check from the federal government Thursday to help bring in new jobs.

That check will actually help train county leaders on the best ways to work together to bring new jobs and more money to small towns all over West Tennessee.

A five-thousand acre plot of farmland along the Haywood-Fayette county line could change the face of West Tennessee's economy.

Last year, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen toured the industry mega-site from the air and said its one of the most marketable in the southeast.

County leaders hope sooner rather than later, it will be home to a major auto assembly plant.

"It will eliminate unemployment in West Tennessee," Brownsville/Haywood Count Chamber of Commerce Director Joe Ing said.

Ing says the only way to develop this site is for counties to work together.

"This is not a Haywood county project, it's a West Tennessee project and we need the support and ask for the support of every surrounding county," Ing said.

"Not just talking about regionalism but actually sharing resources with other counties," Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith said.

Sharing resources got a little easier -- thanks to a check from the federal government.

That money will be used to train local leaders on how to attract new jobs.

"What we want to do is bring in the best throughout the industry with experience in the process and let our leaders learn from them on what worked, what didn't," Southwest Tennessee Development District Director Joe Barker said.

"We fully expect to locate someone here but we just have to get ready," Ing said.

And most agree the only way to get ready is to work together toward the same goal.

The six month regional economic development institute is set to begin in July of 2009 and is open to county leaders all across West Tennessee. 

For more information, call 731-668-7112.

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.

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