The Roane Alliance has released its most recent annual report, and it called 2012 theÂ â€œbusiest and most productive year ever.â€
Roane Alliance officials said theyÂ will remember 2012 as the year of the Volkswagen Distribution Center project.
But it was also a year of many other accomplishments, said Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Henderson.
â€œThe VW project was certainly the biggest project we have landed for our community in recent memory and will no doubt have a significant impact on Roane County for years to come,â€ Henderson said in an introductory letter in the report. â€œWe at the Alliance worked it hard for nearly two yearsâ€”along with a huge dedicated team of public officials, volunteers, and supportersâ€”and beat out a field of nearly 50 other communities across the country. The announcement was the culmination of a long and painstakingly-detailed effort.â€
She said Roane County and the Roane Alliance’s partners “consistently continue to come through the slow recovery a little easier than most of our neighbors.” She attributed that to the strength of the existing industrial and commercial sector, among other things.
According to a press release, some highlights of the report that was released at a Feb. 14 Roane Alliance board meeting:
- ï¿¼Roaneâ€™s unemployment rate continued to beat the stateâ€™s and the nationâ€™s averages, hovering at or below 7 percent throughout the year;
- Roane Countyâ€™s per capita income continued to climb, making it the 15th highest in Tennessee;
- Seventy-nine new retail jobs were created as two new retailers opened their doors after being recruited by Alliance staff;
- More than 100 high school graduatesâ€”60 of them the first in their families to ever attend collegeâ€”enrolled in community colleges last fall as a result of just one of The Allianceâ€™s many successful Education Matters! programs; and
- $64.6 million was spent in Roane County by tourists, according to the stateâ€™s newest numbersâ€”an 8.1 percent increase over the previous year.
The press release said these accomplishments and many more are included in the Allianceâ€™s 2012 Annual Report, which Henderson said is a combination of a â€œsnapshot of Roane Countyâ€™s economyâ€ and an in-depth view of some of the Allianceâ€™s â€œmost active and successful programming.â€
The full report can be seen on the Roane Allianceâ€™s website at: www.RoaneAlliance.org/report.
The Alliance is Roane County’s economic development organization and include both public and private organizations, including the Roane County Chamber of Commerce, the Roane County Industrial Development Board and the Roane County Visitors Bureau.