The Region
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Talented Workforce

East Tennessee companies draw employees from a 32-county geographical area. The region's skilled labor force is key in attracting new business. 

An exceptionally strong work ethic, affordability, greater productivity, lower absenteeism, and a higher degree of company loyalty are major competitive advantages for companies located in the Knoxville region. 

East Tennessee workforce highlights:

  • Size
    • Flexible, growing workforce of 550,000 
    • Easy accessibility, commuting patterns and a tradition of commuting throughout 15-county region
    • More than 5,000 residents with Ph.D.s 
    • 50,000 technical professionals 
    • 45,000 employed in manufacturing
    • 65,000 college students 
    • Diverse population
    • Available skilled laborers 
  • Affordability
    • Low unionization; right-to-work state 
    • Very low worker turnover and absenteeism rates 
    • Highly ranked training programs 
    • Competitive workers compensation rates 
    • Affordability and competitive wages
    • Manufacturing workforce of 45,000 at costs 7% below the U.S. average
  • Training
    • Access to customized training, skilled training and incentives for training programs
    • 4 technology training centers
    • 4 community colleges
    • Home of the University of Tennessee flagship campus
    • Tradition of technology and manufacturing

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Education 
Training


  • Flexible, growing workforce of 550,000

East Tennessee technology

East Tennessee manufacturing

East Tennessee office workers

East Tennessee workforce