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Wilson Co. earns 3-Star

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Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced Tuesday that Wilson County has achieved certification under the states Three-Star program for excellence in economic development.

Our goal is to create a business friendly climate that gives companies the confidence to invest and expand in Tennessee, Hagerty said. Solid community development is a crucial aspect in this process by providing the foundation needed for successful economic development.

Wilson County is now eligible to receive additional incentives under the guidelines of the Tennessee Three-Star program.

In order to receive the certification, communities are required to meet criteria in planning, leadership, community, business and education and work force development categories.

Incentives for receiving the certification include identification on all FastTrack infrastructure and job training applications; eligibility for matching grants, if criteria set by ECD are met; earning points in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program; assistance from ECDs regional field staff and the sharing of best practices in community development; and the establishment of a strategic plan that is updated annually with measurable goals, specific actions, responsible parties and a timeline.

Beginning in 1980, the Three-Star program has now grown to 89 programs certified, representing more than 340 cities and towns.

PHOTO CAPTION -- Accepting the Three-Star Certification award for Wilson County are, from left, Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Chair-Elect Chris Crowell, 2011 Chamber Chairman Paul Jewell, Three-Star Co-Chair and Chamber President / CEO Sue Vanatta, Tennessee ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Gov. Bill Haslam, Three-Star Co-Chair Diane Fletcher with the Joint Economic & Community Development Board, District 17 State Sen. Mae Beavers and District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody.

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