Haslam Cuts ECD Jobs

Gov. Bill Haslam is laying off 60 at the state Department of Economic and Community Development as part of an overhaul of the agency’s mission.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that a review of the department’s operations resulted in the decision to eliminate regional planning services for local governments.

Meanwhile, the department will formalize nine regional offices dubbed “jobs base camps,” and hire directors for each by next month.

Haslam said a review of jobs created in Tennessee over the last decade indicate that only 1.2 percent were created by bringing in businesses from outside the state, even though economic development officials spending about half their time on attracting those investments.

Haslam said the department will now focus its efforts on encouraging expansion of businesses already operating in Tennessee.