NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership
27 Mar, 2019
NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership is the economic development organization serving the Northeastern Tennessee communities in Sullivan – including charter partners Bluff City, Bristol, and Kingsport – and Hawkins counties. Northeast Tennessee is home to a skilled, reliable workforce committed to delivering first-rate products and services.
Sullivan and Hawkins counties are ACT Certified Work Ready Communities – the first communities in East Tennessee to receive this designation – which provides any company locating or growing in Northeast Tennessee with a significant advantage in terms of a skilled workforce.
Northeast State Community College offers custom workforce training at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) with programs for elementary school students through adults. NESCC is the first community college in Tennessee to sponsor registered apprenticeship programs to provide small and mid-sized employers with a structured training process using the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Standards of Apprenticeship; the program has around 100 participants so far. The community college broke ground in October on a $29.8 million Technical Education Complex to meet the growing demand for lab space for a wide range of programs related to advanced manufacturing and business technology.
There’s no shortage of product either. In October 2018, ground was broken on phase two of Aerospace Park site preparation. (Phase one, a 32 acre Select Tennessee Certified Site, is complete.) Aerospace Park provides direct runway access and will total 105 acres when phase two is complete. The park was funded by Sullivan and Washington counties and the cities of Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport, as well as an InvestPrep Grant from TVA and $500,000 Rural Development Grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD).
“Aerospace is one of our top targets,” said Clay Walker, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership. “It’s an industry that ebbs and flows, but our companies here seem to be doing well and increasing their market share.”
Bristol Business Park and Partnership Park II are currently increasing their site inventory as well. In 2018, Bristol Business Park received a $500,000 Site Development Grant from TNECD, and Partnership Park II received a $1 million Site Development Grant from TNECD.