In our globally competitive world, decisions are made quickly. When companies look to expand their operations, there is a strong bias towards early elimination of less prepared sites. A well prepared site alleviates risk and one-time costs for the company.
Enter the Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program. National consultants have said that they routinely consider certified sites as more prepared than non-certified sites, giving your community a leg up on the competition.
Based on feedback from site selectors and companies, coupled with the absence of a national certifying standard, the state of Tennessee saw a tremendous opportunity to help the state’s best sites remain a top contender for pro-growth businesses and industries.
Select Tennessee ensures that Tennessee’s sites meet a consistent and rigorous set of standards. Certified sites can be marketed as ready for development and communities whose sites are not certified will receive a roadmap to follow to bring their site up to the level of preparedness necessary for many economic development projects.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) is the state agency tasked with developing strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. With the lack of national certification standard, ECD partnered with leading site certification consultants Austin Consulting and Foote Consulting Group to develop the Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program to help Tennessee communities get ahead.
Austin Consulting is a professional site selection consulting firm within The Austin Company, an engineering and construction firm. The group assists companies in developing and implementing location strategies based on their specific operating needs. The experienced team at Austin Consulting has worked with industries including aerospace and defense, consumer products, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, general manufacturing, and distribution.
The Foote Consulting Group is a site selection, economic development, real estate, & workforce consulting company with more than 30 years of development experience. The Group has worked on site selection projects that created more than 5,000 jobs and invested more than $1 billion.
No. There is no fee charged to the applicant. Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) is paying the consulting fee for Austin Consulting and Foote Consulting Group (FCG) to assist each applicant and to review the site. There will, however, be expenses associated with obtaining the professional studies and documents required, and these will be the responsibility of the applicant or site owner.
Yes, both public and privately owned sites are eligible to apply for certification. However, privately owned sites must be sponsored by a city, county or local/regional economic development organization that is formally recognized by ECD.
The time required to complete this certification process varies and will depend on the applicant’s level of preparedness and commitment. If all the required materials are in hand and submitted for review the process can proceed quickly and the consultant’s visit to the site can be conducted. This can happen in a matter of weeks. However, if materials (such as a geotechnical study) are still being prepared, the timeline will depend on the time required to obtain these materials and to complete the application.
ECD has launched a new website (www.SelectTennessee.com) to provide information for communities, economic development organizations, and developers interested in participating in the Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program. Available on this website you will find instructions for how to apply using the“Letter of intent to apply” template. Additionally, you will find the program’s requirements in the “Criteria and Definitions for Application” document. Please emailSelect.Tennessee@tn.gov if you are unable to find the answer to your question in this document or on the website.
Part of the value of becoming a Select Tennessee Certified Site is in the marketing of the program. ECD has launched a new website (SelectTennessee.com) to market sites certified through this program to site selection consultants and business leaders in Tennessee’s key industry clusters. ECD’s business development consultants and staff will use the information provided in the certification process to give site selection consultants and prospects the full picture of available sites in Tennessee. Although all sites – certified and uncertified – will be presented to prospects, Select Tennessee Certified Sites will have a unique advantage when presented, due to the comprehensiveness of the information assembled.