by David Stanley
Our city urgently needs to market Oak Ridge to the local U.S. Department of Energy workforce. That workforce brings a billion dollar payroll into East Tennessee each year. Unfortunately, the Oak Ridge economy sees very little of this money.
Over the last two decades, the erosion of DOE residency has cost the City of Oak Ridge a great deal of payroll. The problem looks even worse when one considers the concurrent payroll increase of our city’s competition. For example, over those two decades the gap between the annual Oak Ridge and Knox County DOE payrolls grew by $130 million dollars. That’s just the growth in the gap. The total gap in DOE payroll between Oak Ridge and Knox County is now approximately $270 million dollars per year.
No wonder Turkey Creek and so many new housing developments have gone over there. That’s where the DOE payroll went! [Read more…]