Best Practices

The Best Practices webpage is a growing resource of project descriptions that highlight success stories across the State. The series feature local and regional projects that have been funded by  state and rural partners across Tennessee. 


Danville Landing Recreation Area Improvements
The Danville Landing Recreation Area is 56 acres at the end of Hwy 147 in a rural area of the county. This area serves as the main access point to the Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River Trail in Houston County.


AgLaunch – Tennessee Farmer Network and Model Farms Programs
Through field trials, farmers have access to the most innovative and cutting-edge technology in the world. Additionally, farmers are able to participate in the development of the companies by having an equity stake in them. 


TCAT Livingston – Jackson County
In 2017, Jackson County participated in TNECD-sponsored Asset-Based Planning. During this process, county officials and economic development leaders identified assets and priorities to move them out of the distressed county classification. 


Appalachia Service Project – New Build Appalachia 
ASP’S New Build Appalachia program constructed 37 new homes between 2013 and 2017 for low-income families in East Tennessee. An additional 75 homes have also been built through the Long-Term Recovery program that was launched in 2012.


Dyersburg Façade Improvements and Entrepreneur Development
Created in 2007, the Main Street Farmers Market is a program of the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce and is administered by Main Street Dyersburg. 

Trousdale County6

Community Health "#1 for Life"
In the summer of 2014, the Office of Coordinated School Health and Trousdale County Health Council leaders began discussions for a joint community health
and active living initiative that they named “#1 for Life.” 

Faith Family Medical Clinic Ribbon Cutting

Haywood County Hurdles to Healthcare - Rural Health Access Study
Haywood County leaders participated in TNECD-sponsored Asset-Based Planning services that identified the provision of healthcare services in light of the hospital closure as a top priority.


Obion County Workforce Action Plan
Obion County Joint Economic Development Council leaders partnered with the state of Tennessee, TVA and site development professionals to take steps toward economic recovery


Humboldt Downtown Destination Branding
Humboldt is the home of the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival held the first week of May. It has gained national recognition as possibly the largest non-motorized parade in the world. 


Scott County Water Filling Stations
In 2017, the Scott County IDB received approval for ThreeStar grant funding for the project with the goal to offer a free alternative to sugary sodas throughout the school day. This strategy addressed health, economic development and workforce development pillars of the ThreeStar program.

Chris Cantrell bldg.

Smithville Comprehensive Façade Improvement
In 2012, Smithville/DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce leaders identified the TNECD Tennessee Downtowns Program as a fit for their community’s downtown development needs.


Erwin Downtown Revitalization and Broadband
Erwin is reshaping its future to compete in an information and technology-based economy by transitioning from 20th century rail to 21st century fiber connectivity. 


Valley View Business and Industrial Park
Whitwell city leaders have continually worked to create jobs and improve quality of life for the community.  Provision of utility services to existing and future businesses was paramount in accelerating economic growth.


Houston County Hospital Renovations
In 2016, Houston County leaders saw the opportunity to apply for TNECD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to make improvements to the hospital facility. 


Manchester Coffee Co - Bonnaroo Festival
Since 2002, Manchester and Coffee County has been the home of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, a four day event held on more than 700 acres of farmland featuring a diverse array of music styles and international performers.


Mountain Harvest Kitchen Business Incubator
The Mountain Harvest Kitchen was created in 2013 to support the local foods system and economic development opportunities for the region through an initial $900,000 investment of ARC, EDA, USDA Rural Development, and Town of Unicoi funding. 

Paris -  Welcome to Paris

Back Alley Paris Project
Paris has long recognized the importance of maintaining a vibrant downtown, and a coalition of city and county government leaders, property owners, life-long downtown advocates, and merchants have dedicated time and resources toward this goal.

Waynesboro Downtown

Wayne County Free Public WiFi
Providing public WiFi would also provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to conduct research to start up their business, sell their products or work online. The Digital Hub, a virtual call center trains workers for home-based customer service and telecommunication-based employment.


Historic Lebanon Main Street Revitalization
Lebanon is a treasure trove of rich architecture and history and has a track record of successful historic preservation. Lebanon is also served by Music City Star Commuter Rail service in its historic core in keeping with its railroad town history.


DeKalb County Health Adventure
Leaders from the Chamber and several community groups share a deep commitment to bring healthy opportunities to residents of the community and remove barriers to individual’s ability to improve their health.


Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation Assistance Project
The Tennessee Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) works to promote early childhood literacy in Tennessee’s birth to age five population.


Brownsville Downtown Revitalization
Brownsville, located in Haywood County along I-40, has 450 documented historic properties and businesses and four historic districts located within its downtown commercial district and adjoining residential neighborhoods.


Powell River Blueways
Claiborne County, located in Northeast Tennessee along the border of Kentucky and Virginia, is home to significant portions of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Norris Lake and many hiking trails, lakes and other waterways. 


Skymart Venture PLace
 Since 2009, the City of Morristown and CDP have thoughtfully preserved the downtown commercial district, which is known for its outdoor skywalks on the second floor of the buildings. 


White County Development
White County had seen successful locations of industries in the northern part of the county on industrial properties adjacent to the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport and leaders knew that new industrial site development in that location held much promise.


Livingston Central Park
The city was selected as one of Tennessee’s Courthouse Square Revitalization Act pilot project communities that allowed sales tax from their downtown district to be returned for improvements.


Gibson County - Tyson Foods
When the opportunity arose, Gibson County government and economic development leaders took action to obtain technical assistance and funding through TNECD, TVA and local industrial development programs to invest in all needed improvements to make the site attractive to prospects.  

Dandridge Dock

Dandridge Dock
Town leaders invested in the 2015 Dandridge Tennessee Waterfront Master Plan and created a new shared vision for the community’s successful future growth and development. 

anderson county TCAT Ribbon Cutting Photo 2

TCAT Knoxville – Anderson County Campus  
In 2012, Anderson County Schools received a $1.2 million Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP!) grant. The focus of the program was to change the view of and increase the number of students pursuing post-secondary education in the graduating classes of 2018 and 2019. 


Chester County – Property Evaluation Program   
During the county’s 2017 TNECD-sponsored asset-based plan development, the need for quality industrial sites to attract industry was determined as the most critical priority for the community yet determining the most suitable properties was a challenge. 

Dandridge Dock

McNairy County Science Tourism and STEAM Education
McNairy County community leaders identified improvements to the MCHS Planetarium as the community’s top priority during TNECD-sponsored Asset-Based Planning. 


TCAT Livingston – Jackson County
The top goal identified in Jackson County was to develop post-secondary educational and training programs locally to improve educational attainment and strengthen skills of the workforce.   


Innovations in Workforce Development – The Way to Win at Work
The Way to Win at Work Program focuses on soft skills needed in the workplace. The committee partnered with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in Jackson to develop an online soft-skills training curriculum.

Franklin Co Mfg Week Student N Industires decherd mfg day_7508

Franklin County Students “N” Industries
The program is designed to create a family of partners from business, civic, and religious organizations and each school to foster better understanding of the educational system and establish relationships between community partners and schools.


Decherd Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project
This project will increase the capacity of wastewater treatment systems and successfully accommodate the projected increase in wastewater discharge due to Decherd’s rapid growth, annexation and the NMMC’s Phase II expansion.    


Manchester Historic Square and Building Revitalization 
Manchester and Coffee County are important gateways into the growing south-central
Tennessee region. 


Greene County Retail Recruitment
Greene County partners identified the need for new retail establishments to serve local residents, keep consumer expenditures in the county, and grow sales and property tax revenues for local governments.


Greene Co Correctional

Greene County Correctional Program 
The CCP program enables participants to improve basic skills, earn their High School Equivalency Diploma and participate in sponsored employment while paying off fines, fees, and restitution to Greene County.



Athens Thrive Public Spaces and Façade Improvements 
In 2016, Athens became a Main Street community. Since that time, Athens Main Street have put in place programs and funding for strategic property updates and related community design assistance. 


Downtown Master Plan Streetscape & Façade Improvements
In 2006 the city took the first step in downtown redevelopment by developing and adopting a master plan to serve as a guide for future development. 

Bledsoe Co Meat pic

Edgefield Prime Meat Company
Edgefield Prime Meat Company owners began work with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) for livestock production early in 2017 to discuss their goal of opening a USDA-inspected meat processing facility and expand into value-added beef and pork products to local consumers.

Grundy County pic

Silver Bait LLC, Agribusiness Three-Phase Power Improvements
In 2004, the founder of Silver Bait LLC relocated his family and business from the Atlanta region for the rural setting and amenities that matched his business and lifestyle needs. 

Dandridge Dock

Greene County Tennis Association
Greene County and Greeneville have great shared recreation assets and a history of successful community investments in tennis facilities and programming that provide community livability and economic contributions. 

Sumner Co Ribbon Cutting ECC 2017

Sumner County Emergency Communication Center
Over the last two decades Sumner County and its communities have experienced multiple tornados and storm disasters resulting in county-wide property destruction and property losses totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

Brushy Mtn

Brushy Mountain Development
Almost four years after the closure, the MCEDB was approached by the Brushy Mountain Group (BMG), a partnership of three successful Tennessee entrepreneurs, with a proposal to turn the historic prison site into a regional tourist destination. 

4/12/2018 Governor Bill Haslam is joined by State Senator Steve Southerland and State Representative Tilman Goins and Van Hool company officials in announcing a new manufacturing facility

Hamblen County - East Tennessee Progress Center
In April of 2018, State and local officials joined Van Hool to announce that the family-owned Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles would establish its first US manufacturing plant in Morristown. 

Dale Hollow

Clay County - Community Comprehensive Plan
Clay County, situated on the Cumberland Plateau, is best known for its premier location on Dale Hollow Lake that provides abundant outdoor recreation and tourism commerce. 

Unicoi County

Unicoi County - Property Evaluation Program
Unicoi County is dominated by a valley feature that starts at Johnson City and extends 18 miles to the base of the mountains south of Erwin. Economic activity is largely confined to this valley and it impacts the availability of properties for development.


Columbia Downtown Revitalization
Columbia leaders have been systematically working to redevelop downtown assets during the last decade to better serve existing residents and meet the need for attainable housing for residents.


Fish Dayton
FISH DAYTON branding, tourism marketing, and infrastructure investments have positioned the community to capitalize on their lake access. In July 2018, Bassmaster ranked Chickamauga Lake No. 2 in the nation


Gig City Broadband
Instead of building the fiber network alone, the city partnered with West Kentucky & Tennessee Telecommunications, a cooperative with experience building and maintaining a fiber network. 


Sweetwater Main Street
In 2017, Sweetwater Main Street successfully applied for the Main Street Entrepreneur Grant (MEG) and received $50,000 to bring an 1870’s building on their Main Street back into service.


Ben Lomand Communications
In 2017, Coffee County and Ben Lomand officials worked collaboratively to determine customer needs and develop specifications to extend broadband fiber service to the Pocahontas community.



Johnson County JAM
In 2016, county leaders began the Johnson County JAM Program as the second JAM ™ Program
in Tennessee and had an eager response of 150 children sign up to participate. 


CCSP Shooting Park
In April of 2013, the CCSSP shooting park opened with 4 trap fields, 4 skeet fields, a five-stand shotgun station, sporting clays, archery, rifle and pistol ranges and a 2,500 sq. ft. Club House and Pro Shop