“Helping create jobs isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an issue that impacts all of our communities.”
Not every part of Tennessee is in the same economic condition. While some communities are thriving and seeing job growth, others are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession. Even in places that are prospering, not all community members are benefiting the same.
Karl led Nashville to the unprecedented economic growth that it’s experiencing today. During his tenure as Mayor, more than 70,000 gross new jobs were created in Davidson County and more than 350 companies expanded or relocated to the area. As Governor, he wants to bring economic opportunity to all Tennesseans.
Karl believes a job in the private sector is better than any government assistance program. He will work to bring good jobs to Tennessee, which means jobs that provide a living wage. This involves direct business recruitment as well as creating an environment where businesses can thrive. He’ll continue the state’s investments in critical infrastructure that businesses need, like roads and rural broadband. And he will work to ensure our workforce is ready for 21st century job opportunities.
Helping create jobs isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an issue that impacts all of our communities. As Mayor, Karl worked with the local Chamber of Commerce and our state government to recruit and retain businesses. He will bring the same collaborative leadership to the Governor’s Office, like advocating to protect the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The ARC has brought more than 25,000 jobs to Tennessee and has benefited from bipartisan support for decades. President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the ARC and similar entities across the country. Karl has proven he can work across party lines to get things done. He won’t let partisan politics stand in the way of common-sense solutions.
Karl knows what it takes to recruit top businesses looking to relocate or expand. While Mayor of Nashville, he helped negotiate economic development deals with companies like Bridgestone, UBS, Loews Hotels, Warby Parker, Lifepoint, Asurion, Oberto Foods and Carlex Glass. He also negotiated a deal to keep the Predators, our state’s NHL team, from relocating elsewhere. As Governor, Karl will aggressively work to recruit businesses to communities across Tennessee, just as he did for Nashville.
Growing companies need the right location with access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce. Karl will help identify, develop and capitalize on these assets, like the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County. The megasite sits in one of more than a dozen economically distressed counties in Tennessee, meaning it’s in the bottom 10 percent of counties in the nation based on poverty, income and unemployment. Karl will work to recruit the right business to the megasite in Haywood County and help other economically distressed counties find business recruitment opportunities.
Tourism is growing in Tennessee, even outpacing growth in tourism nationwide. It’s easy to see why with the state’s central location and abundant natural beauty, culture and history. The tourism industry is an important part of our state’s economy. Visitor spending supports local jobs and generates state and local tax revenue to pay for vital government services.
Having served as Mayor of the largest tourism generator in the state, Karl knows how the right public investments can lead to important economic growth. He led the effort to construct the Music City Center, Nashville’s new downtown convention center, which has spurred record growth in tourism for the city. The MCC now generates millions of dollars in direct visitor spending every month.
Karl helped Nashville capitalize on its unique identity and offerings. As Governor, he wants to help communities across Tennessee do the same, like the Upper Cumberland, which is positioning itself as a hub for the outdoors and the arts, similar to Asheville, N.C.
Karl knows that the right investments in infrastructure are key to economic growth. Access to roads, water lines, broadband service and other infrastructure are essential for businesses looking to grow and create jobs.
During his time as Mayor of Nashville, Karl made improving the city’s infrastructure a priority, working with the Metro Council to invest $2.3 billion in capital projects in all parts of Davidson County. He also worked with the Metro Council to create a funding stream for new water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure projects. When Karl first took office, the city’s water department had no bonding capacity. Now, Nashville has the water infrastructure it needs to support the next 50 years of economic growth.
As Governor, Karl will bring the same commitment to finding pragmatic solutions to our communities’ problems. He will work with the Tennessee General Assembly and our state’s leaders in Washington D.C. to ensure all available state and federal resources are put toward our state’s most pressing infrastructure needs.
Most of Tennessee’s fastest growing industries and occupations require some type of postsecondary education or training. Karl supports Tennessee’s current focus on increasing the number of college graduates. In fact, as Mayor, he created public-private support for free access to community college in Nashville before Tennessee Promise was implemented statewide.
However, Karl also knows that college isn’t the right fit for every high school graduate. As Governor, he will work to expand access to vocational training programs across Tennessee, and he will work to align them with the industries and jobs that are growing in our state.