Rep. Watson: Moving Tennessee Forward

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - by Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson

Over the last several weeks, myself and others have joined with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community to announce numerous major business expansions from all across the state. With these expansion projects, thousands of jobs have been created, as well as, millions of dollars invested into local Tennessee communities.  Companies like Gap, Surface Igniter, Dot Foods, and Miller Industries will move their headquarters here or expand their current space.  

When companies expand their existing space in Tennessee that says a lot about the current economy.  When companies are moving their headquarters here that says a lot about the state of Tennessee.

In 2010, I was proud to have been a part of the TN General Assembly that established the Office of Small Business Advocate.  My family owns a small business within the Bradley County area.  Small businesses are vital to Tennessee.  The OSBA is the primary contact for Tennessee small business owners who need assistance with specific business issues or have general questions about state agencies, regulatory compliance, or other business-related topics.  In addition, if a small business owner feels that his or her business has been subject to unfair enforcement actions by a state agency, the business owner can seek assistance and relief from the OSBA.  With 97 percent of the companies in Tennessee being classified as “small businesses,” the Office of Small Business Advocate provides an invaluable resource to business owners across the state, providing help and information to the entrepreneurs who are the backbone of creativity and job production in Tennessee.  To contact Tennessee’s Small Business Advocate, Lauren Plunk, call 615.401-7806 or email her at<>.

I am thrilled to announce that Benton Elementary School has been recognized as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education.  The designation means the schools are in either the top five percent of all schools in the state for annual academic growth or the top five percent for overall academic achievement.  The Reward School program spans 52 districts across the state and includes 169 total schools.  Republican leaders praised the news, thanking teachers, administrators, and students for all their hard work in achieving the important educational goals.  The 2012-13 Reward Schools made their impressive accomplishments during a year when Tennessee saw consistent gains on the statewide Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program testing. As schools across the state made improvements and reached higher levels of proficiency, the Reward Schools led the way in overall school performance.  A complete list of Reward Schools can be found by visiting:

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