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Friday, October 13, 2017

PEP program approved for Cocke County
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced Thursday that Cocke County is one of six counties to be chosen to participate in the latest round of the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program (PEP). Partnership President Lucas Graham had earlier anno8nced that Cocke County had applied for the program. PEP is designed to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings in Tennessee. It evaluates potential properties, advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and how sites can be improved to attract prospective companies. “Congratulations to the six communities selected to participate in this round of PEP,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “PEP has done a fantastic job helping local communities better prepare to attract new and expanding businesses in our state. With the assistance from this program, I’m hopeful that the newest counties participating in PEP will be able to successfully attract companies to their local communities and broaden job opportunities for their residents.” With the assistance of site selection firm Austin Consulting, PEP benefits participating counties by providing guidance on site planning for future industrial development projects. “The tremendous support by county economic development organizations to be part of TNECD’s PEP is proof that local economic development groups see the value of planning ahead for the next phase of industrial development so Tennessee will continue to lead the country in locating new companies for decades to come,” Frank Spano, managing director of Austin Consulting, said. For counties selected to participate, PEP includes an educational webinar on the site selection process, an on-site visit by Austin Consulting and a comprehensive assessment addressing the strengths and needs of a community’s inventory of industrial sites. This assessment also offers next step recommendations for communities to improve marketability. PEP selection was based on the demonstrated local need for industrial properties and the county’s ability to assemble viable properties with market potential.


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