Tennessee’s Trifecta

From the Desk of the Editor in Chief

Chattanooga is a challenging city for copy editors. It’s one of those names that always sends you back to the archives for a quick spell-check.

Not anymore. Thanks to some hyperactive officials in southeast Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s fourth-largest city is much more than a scenic backdrop for Lookout Mountain. It is one of the hottest economic development locations in the United States.

As reported in this month’s issue, the Chattanooga area scored its second huge project coup of the past eight months with the announcement that Wacker Chemie AG, the German chemical giant, will build a $1-billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County about 20 miles east of the city.

The Wacker announcement comes on the heels of last summer’s celebration in Chattanooga over its selection by Volkswagon as the site of a new auto assembly plant, marking VW’s return to U.S. manufacturing after a 20-year hiatus.

Not to be outdone by the festivities in eastern Tennessee, the folks up in Clarksville, TN weighed in recently with their own mega-development, also involving a chemical plant: Hemlock Semiconductor’s $2.5-billion investment in a facility to produce the materials used to make solar panels.

In this deep winter of ice-cold economic news, it is reassuring to know that at least one state is keeping the hot stove burning. Kudos to Tennessee!

Jack Rogers