State House and Senate Democrats Embark on Statewide Jobs Tour – #TNJobsTour

From a Senate Democratic Caucus release:

HOUSE, SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE
STATEWIDE JOBS TOUR SEPT. 19-24

Officials will meet with businesses, local leaders across state

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s House and Senate Democratic Caucuses announced Wednesday that their members will embark on a six-day tour across the state Sept. 19-24 to talk to business owners, local officials and the public about how to best grow jobs in Tennessee.

“Across the country and here in Tennessee, we are stuck in a jobs crisis, and it’s going to take everyone working together to get us out of it,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “Jobs are the number one priority for Tennesseans, and they also must be the top priority for their elected officials.”

Members will begin the tour Monday, Sept. 19, in Memphis, with stops throughout rural and urban areas across the state (see schedule below). The tour will end Saturday, Sept. 24, in Putnam and Smith Counties.

The unemployment rate in Tennessee currently sits at 9.8 percent, meaning more than 306,000 Tennesseans are looking for jobs and can’t find one. County unemployment rates are as high as 19.8 percent.

“People want their lawmakers to do something to combat the unemployment crisis, especially in rural areas that have been hit the hardest,” said State Senator Eric Stewart. “There’s a lot we can learn from going out there and listening to the people who are creating jobs, as well as the people who are looking for jobs.”

The tour will include several discussions and events open to the public, as well as daily press briefings and updates through traditional and social media. Members participating on the tour have pledged to use the feedback they receive on the tour to draft legislation directly addressing job growth throughout the state.

“The tour is our opportunity to listen, gather ideas and make decisions on what we can do as a state legislature to promote jobs in Tennessee,” Fitzhugh said. “We hope it will mark the beginning of a sustained focus on jobs and economic growth from all of our elected officials as we enter the next legislative session.”

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Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 19): Corporate Partnerships Day (Shelby & Haywood)
8 a.m. Kickoff at the University of Memphis with Corporate Jobs Roundtable
1 p.m. Tour of West Tennessee Megasite with Mayor Franklin Smith
2 p.m. Tour of West Tennessee Solar Farm with Mayor Franklin Smith

Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept. 20): Small Business Day (Madison & Weakley)
8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Drop-ins at small businesses in Madison County
Noon – 2 p.m. Drop-ins at small businesses in Weakley County

Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 21): Technical Jobs Day (Rutherford & Maury)
Morning: Tour of Nissan LEAF Plant in Rutherford County
Noon – 2 p.m. Technical Jobs Roundtable at Columbia State Community College
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Drop-ins at Maury County small businesses

Day 4 (Thursday, Sept. 22): Green Jobs Day (Warren & Hamilton)
7 a.m. Breakfast at Tennessee State University Nursery Research Center in McMinnville
8 a.m. Meet with nurserymen and tour Otis Floyd Research Center
Noon: Tour of Chattanooga State Community College
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tour new energy businesses in Chattanooga

Day 5 (Friday, Sept. 23): Research/Education Jobs Day (Knox)
8 a.m. Breakfast with Councilmember Brenda Palmer and small business owners
10 a.m. Business Round Table at the Chamber of Commerce
Noon – 2 p.m. Drop-ins at small businesses in Knox County
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Meet w/Piper Communications to discuss growing the clean energy sector

Day 6 (Saturday, Sept. 24): Ecotourism Jobs Day (Putnam & Smith)
8 a.m. Breakfast at Dipsy Doodle in Putnam County
10 a.m. – Noon: Drop-ins at small businesses in Cookeville
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Tour of Catesa Farms in Smith County

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