Bill Haslam's top priority as governor will be making Tennessee the #1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs. At a time when our state is facing double-digit unemployment and many more are underemployed, Tennessee needs a governor who understands how to create jobs.
Fortunately, Bill's entire career has been spent creating jobs. First in the private sector, he helped grow his family's small business from a regional string of gas stations that employed 800 into a national truck stop chain with approximately 14,000 employees and locations 39 in states. After serving as President of the business for 13 years, Bill became Mayor of Knoxville where he's helped recruit thousands more jobs to the city over the last six years.
With Bill's experience creating jobs and recruiting companies to Tennessee, he is in a unique position to sell our state. He can testify from personal experience why our state is a great place to base your business. From no income tax to our right-to-work status to our central location, hardworking citizenry, and high quality of life, Tennessee is a great place to live and work. When Bill sits across the table from a business leader interested in relocating here or the head of an existing business who is considering expanding, he will have instant credibility when making the sell.
Not only does Bill have the vision to make our state the best in the region for job creation as well as the executive experience necessary to be effective, he actually has a plan. Earlier this year Bill traveled across the state on a Jobs Tour that covered all three Grand Divisions and included numerous meetings with small business owners, economic development professionals, and local government and community leaders. He visited job sites, toured factories, and heard first-hand from small business owners what they need in order to create more jobs in this state.
Bill's plan for making Tennessee the #1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs includes efforts to help people rejoin the workforce immediately, create regional economic development strategies that leverage each region's unique assets, focus on small business growth, improve education and workforce development, manage conservatively, and foster a business-friendly environment by removing burdensome regulations, keeping taxes low, and ensuring Tennessee remains a state WITHOUT an income tax.