New Future for The Enterprise Center in Motion
Tuesday morning, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, in partnership with Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, announced The Enterprise Center (TEC) will shift their mission and structure to focus on growing Chattanooga’s innovation economy and addressing issues like access to technology for all citizens.
The announcement follows a report sent to Mayor Berke last week from the Chattanooga Forward task force recommending the “creation of an entity to explore creative strategies to utilize the community’s technological assets such as the high speed gigabit infrastructure.”
“As Chattanooga is becoming a leader in the innovation century, we must capitalize on the momentum of the Gig and our city’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “The Enterprise Center has carried out its vision since 2002, building lasting partnerships with research and technology leaders throughout the region. With this refocus in mission and direction, TEC can now meld its strong history of collaboration with the future of technology and innovation in our community.”
“The Enterprise Center has executed great projects in our community in the past. This is a great opportunity for us to revisit the mission of the organization and form new partnerships to help small businesses leverage technology to grow jobs in Hamilton County,” said Mayor Jim Coppinger.
In 2002, The Enterprise Center was created to lead technology-based economic development initiatives and to identify opportunities to coordinate transfer technology with the region’s research and technology partners including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
“It has been my great pleasure to be a part of TEC’s great work,” said Wayne Cropp, President of The Enterprise Center, who will move into a transitional role over the next few months. “Now, the Center is positioned to take on a new role as the hub for connecting the gigabyte as an economic development catalyst. While this approach is more narrowly focused on leveraging our digital assets and building our entrepreneurial community, it builds on the accomplishments of the past decade.”
TEC programs related to Renewal Community programs between 2002 and 2009 resulted in hundreds of jobs and over $50 million in total monetary impact in the region. TEC efforts helped spur development in the Main Street, Northshore and South Broad Street areas.
“I am pleased that Mayor Berke sees TEC as the place to pull together the creative and innovative talent in our community to make the Gig come alive. It is a recognition of the mission of TEC to be a catalyst for change,” said Jim Sattler, Chairman of the Board for The Enterprise Center.
As part of their revitalization program, TEC developed extensive experience in brownfield initiatives aimed at remediation and reuse. Eight clean-up projects have been completed with over 100 acres being made available for redevelopment.
TEC also worked to facilitate the planning of potential high speed rail connecting Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville. Cropp will ensure that these projects are successfully completed or transitioned to other entities before new leadership is appointed in the coming weeks.
“As a past board chair of The Enterprise Center, the decision by Mayor Berke continues a critical partnership between the city and TEC. We were created to be a coordinator for technology and Mayor Berke’s approach to innovation rejuvenates our mission,” said Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
A team has been named to guide the transition of TEC over the coming months, including selecting new board members and a president for the organization. The transition group will work with stakeholders to review TEC bylaws, structure, strategic plan, and projects to ensure a smooth transition.
“We envision this will be a short process, so that a newly focused Enterprise Center can hit the ground running and capitalize on all the opportunity for the gig and the potential for Chattanooga in the innovation economy” said Sydney Crisp, Unum's Vice President for Global IT Infrastructure and Risk Management, who also serves as a member of TEC's transition team.
The TEC transition team includes:
-- Kristina Montague, The Jump Fund
-- Ted Alling, Lamp Post Group
-- Ken Hays, Kinsey, Probasco & Hays
-- David Belitz, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund
-- Sydney Crisp, Unum
-- Sarah Morgan, Benwood Foundation
More Business News
Last Update on March 05, 2015 18:48 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since May, though the level of applications remains at a level consistent with steady hiring.
The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 10,250 to 304,750, a six-week high.
The number of applications tends to reflect the pace of U.S. layoffs. The four-week average has remained near or below 300,000 since September, a historically low level that typically signals healthy job gains.
There are some signs that heavy snow and unseasonably cold weather have played a role in increasing the number of layoffs. Several states said two weeks ago that applications had risen because of bad weather.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. worker productivity was even weaker than first thought from October through December while labor costs rose at a faster rate.
The Commerce Department says that productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.
Weaker productivity and higher labor costs could spell inflation troubles for the economy. But analysts say that the changes in the fourth quarter are temporary and not an indication that inflation is about to be a problem.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories fell again in January but a key investment category showed a gain.
The Commerce Department says orders to factories edged down 0.2 percent in January following declines of 3.5 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.
In an encouraging sign, orders in a category viewed as a proxy for business investment showed an increase of 0.5 percent in January following declines of 0.5 percent in both December and November.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average long-term mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in four weeks and remain near historic lows reached in May 2013.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.75 percent from 3.80 percent last week.
The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, fell to 3.03 percent from 3.07 percent last week.
A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.28 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.32 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey has announced a settlement with Exxon Mobil that it says is the largest environmental settlement in state history, even though it is far less than the state initially sought.
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement Thursday the $225 million settlement over refinery sites in Linden and Bayonne is separate from Exxon Mobil's obligation to clean up the sites.
The settlement has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers who note that the state initially sought $8.9 billion in damages. A judge found the company liable but no damage amount had been determined.
Last month the two sides told the judge to delay his ruling because a settlement was imminent.
The case was brought in 2004 and charged that Exxon's petroleum refining plants contaminated the land and water.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Marine scientists are raising concerns about the Obama administration's decision to move ahead on use of seismic air guns in the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas exploration.
Seventy-five scientists from around the globe on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying the use of the guns, which create canonlike air blasts underwater, represents a "significant threat to marine life throughout the region."
The air blasts fire every 10-12 seconds for weeks or months at a time, which can harm marine mammals that rely on hearing to survive.
Nine permits are before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which must also be approved by NOAA Fisheries before being finalized.
The government says no seismic applications will be approved without measures meant to mitigate harm to marine life.
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