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VOL. 43 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 29, 2019

East Tennessee counties benefit from GIVE

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The Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education program has handed out several awards in East Tennessee.

The grants prioritize learning opportunities in rural counties and enhance career and technical education statewide.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved $25 million in the governor’s budget to incentivize collaboration at the local level among stakeholders such as higher education institutions, K-12 and economic development partners.

The Appalachian Regional Commission index of economic status categorizes counties as at-risk or distressed based upon their three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rates. Distressed counties rank among the 10% most economically distressed in the nation while at-risk counties rank between the bottom 10% and 25% of the nation’s counties.

The GIVE projects and recipients for East Tennessee:

• Career-Aligned Learning Pathways Project: Implementing NCCER National Industry Certification, TCAT Athens, $111,002

• Trane Training Lab: New HVAC Training Program with Alcoa City Schools, TCAT Knoxville, $892,745

• Developing the Healthcare Workforce for Today, Chattanooga State Community College - Southeast Tennessee Development District, $976,254

• Northeast Tennessee STEM to Work, TCAT Elizabethton, $1M

• Regional Transportation Education Center, TCAT Crump - The Ayers Foundation, $997,688

• GIVE Blount County Careers Collaborative (BC3), Pellissippi State Community College, $998,416

• Northeast Tennessee Information Technology Career Accelerator Pathway, Northeast State Community College, $998,823

• GIVE Knox County Careers Collaborative (KC3), Pellissippi State Community College, $999,874

• Fast Forward for Success (F3S), Roane State Community College, $999,950

• Advanced Technologies Apprenticeship Institute, Cleveland State Community College, $999,956

• Five Rivers Partnership for Future Ready Pathways, TCAT Morristown, $1M

Knoxville’s Bassmaster wins Impact award

The 2019 Bassmaster Classic, held in Knoxville, has been recognized as a 2019 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management.

A record crowd of 153,809 spectators and tourists attended.

The award, given in the midmarket division, honors organizations and local partners who “worked together to produce events that have made our industry a more vibrant, more exciting, more varied and more interesting place.”

The 2019 Bassmaster Classic generated an economic impact of $32.2 million for Knoxville and East Tennessee.

The event has established itself as a huge economic boon for host communities, far exceeding economic impacts from every host city for the first weekend of March Madness, according to reports.

“We are so proud to have the positive impact of the Bassmaster Classic and our partnership with Visit Knoxville Sports Commission recognized,” says Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S.

“It’s our hope that through media coverage of our exciting tournaments and by attracting our signature large, enthusiastic crowds to a fishery, every B.A.S.S. tournament can be an economic win for our host cities.”

According to the Visit Knoxville study, the Classic provided a direct economic impact of $17.7 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $14.5 million. The event is credited with generating $2.75 million in state and local tax revenue, including taxes on sales, restaurant purchases and lodging.

TVA reports 1% increase in operating revenue

The Tennessee Valley Authority reported $11.3 billion in operating revenues for fiscal year 2019, a 1% increase over fiscal year 2018.

The financial performance reflected lower sales based on overall milder weather in 2019 than in 2018, and lower fuel cost recovery revenues, offset by higher base rates.

“TVA’s success at reducing costs and reducing debt while investing in cleaner generation is paying off,” says Jeff Lyash, TVA’s president and chief executive officer. “TVA delivered another year of financial and operational successes, maintaining high reliability for our customers in 2019 while making important investments for the future.”

TVA’s total operating expenses in fiscal year 2019 were 2% lower in 2019 than in 2018, driven by lower fuel expense and lower depreciation and amortization expense.

TVA’s fuel and purchased power expense was 4% lower in 2019 than in 2018, due to a $153 million decrease in fuel expense. Lower natural gas prices and increased hydroelectric generation helped lower fuel expenses.

Hampton Inn wins Lighthouse Award

The Hampton Inn & Suites Knoxville at Papermill Road property has been ranked among the top 5% of Hampton Inn & Suites in the U.S. earning the Lighthouse Award from Hilton Worldwide for the third consecutive year.

The award was announced by owners-operators, the 9 Group, which includes the local three-generation hotel family of Vasant, Shailesh, Ram and Aseem Patel.

In addition, Adrian Zarczynski, the hotel’s general manager was named general manager of the year in the small property category from the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Zarczynski has also been recognized by the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association with its annual PAULY award for outstanding general manager.

“I’m flattered and overwhelmed with such meaningful recognition, especially among my peers in the industry,” Zarczynski says. “Our entire team works hard each day to provide exceptional guest service. Our team members try to anticipate guest needs and provide travelers with local flavor by suggesting area treasures, attractions and things to do around town. We’re so proud to be a part of the essence of East Tennessee.”

KCDC garners top agency accreditation

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation’s Procurement Division once again has earned Outstanding Agency Accreditation from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing.

KCDC first earned this accreditation in 2006.

The NIGP gave the Knoxville agency an OA4 rating, which acknowledges excellence in sound procurement practices and places KCDC in a group of elite procurement organizations.

Among the more than 3,000 governmental agency members in NIGP throughout the United States and Canada, only 154 government agencies have attained this distinction. KCDC’s Procurement Division has held this accreditation since 2006.

Church renovation earns Preservation Award

Knoxville Heritage awarded Johnson Architecture and The Christman Company an East Tennessee Preservation Award for the $10 million renovation of the historic First Presbyterian Church in downtown Knoxville.

The architectural and construction firms worked together on the project at the 68,000-square-foot church, which was founded in 1792, just one year after Knoxville was founded in 1791.

The project expanded and preserved the historic structure for modern use.

“Preservation is as much art as it is science,” said Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture. “The process involves not just simply restoring a structure back to its original form and materials, but also ensuring that a historic site can be preserved for effective use in the future.”

Christman preserved historic elements during construction, including the iconic rock at a redesigned entrance at 620 State St. The sanctuary, designed by the Baumann Brothers of Knoxville, opened in 1903.

During construction a stained-glass window in the back of the sanctuary was discovered.

It had been covered up when the balcony was built in 1920, and it now includes door and walkway, and part of it is now permanently visible.

Unused granite curb pieces that had been tucked inside a hidden spot between buildings were discovered and were used in the new project, including the State Street entrance.

The area where the curb pieces were found also yielded an open space in the center of the various paths to other parts of the building and became the church’s north-south corridor and atrium.

Extensivist Clinic offers chronic disease care

Summit Medical Group has opened the Summit Extensivist Clinic in Powell.

The clinic will offer Knoxville-area patients an efficient, lower-cost model for acute illness or chronic disease exacerbations.

Summit patients who visit a primary care physician or Summit Express Clinic may be referred to the Extensivist Clinic for treatment and monitoring as an alternative to being admitted to the hospital.

The clinic is located within the Summit Express Clinic at Powell, an urgent care clinic open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Parks and Recreation holds holiday Cyber Sale

Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department’s Cyber Sale begins Nov. 29 and will run through Dec. 2.

Sales include gift certificates for arts and crafts, classes and workshops, indoor pool visits, workout classes, facility rentals and more.

“These holiday gifts are a great way to help your loved one have a great start to 2020 and also stay active,” says Aaron Browning, deputy director of Knoxville’s parks and recreation division.


Lonsdale investment plan underway

Knoxville City Council, Knox County Commission and the Knox County Board of Education are working together for a new public-private plan to infuse investment into the Lonsdale community.

Around $30 million will be needed to add a larger ADA-accessible new public school, a new city park, a new philanthropically-funded multipurpose facility for families and youth, and new sidewalks, street lighting and street trees.

Some of the amenities are years away from final construction.

Most recently, the Council authorized a land swap with Knox County and the school board in which the county will assume ownership of Lonsdale Park and Recreation Center on Stonewall Street, as part of a commitment by Knox County to use the property to build a new larger Lonsdale Elementary School, estimated to be a $19 million investment.

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