Mark GreenUnder Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee has been able to attract quality jobs to the state. But attracting companies to move jobs to Tennessee is hyper-competitive. Tennessee is competing with other states on a number of economic factors, including taxes, business climate, quality of life for employees and the quality of a state’s workforce.

Tennessee’s business climate ranks in the top 10, but neighbors like Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are ranked higher. According to the Tax Foundation, Tennessee ranks 16th for overall business tax climate, but North Carolina is No. 15, Texas is No. 10 and Florida is No. 4.

If Tennessee is going to stand apart from our neighbors in attracting employers (and their jobs) here, we must address the quality of our future workforce, and that starts with how we educate that next generation of Tennessee’s workforce.

Access to a quality education is vital for all of Tennessee’s children, regardless of their zip code. We must find creative and innovative ways to give access to a quality education to children in school districts with poor-performing schools.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, it is not often I use a metaphor with boats to describe my legislative priorities — especially considering how Navy has handed it to the Army football team for a decade. But when I look at the future of Tennessee’s workforce, I am reminded of the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” If more of Tennessee’s children had access to quality education, we would be able to increase their opportunity to earn future success. In doing so, we could move the state up the ladder relative to our neighbors. Clearly this would increase the attractiveness of our state to employers who could move quality, high-paying jobs to Tennessee… READ MORE from the Tennessean.

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