The Ford Mega site deal and almost $900 million in tax incentives for a new Ford plant is a ‘Win-Win,’ says Tennessee State Representative Mike Sparks, a republican from Smyrna. The republican lawmaker saw first hand how Nissan has positively impacted his community.
“I recall listening to the old-timers such as Major Jim Walls who owned the Omni Hut restaurant in Smyrna. I was working there at 13 and heard their concerns. Major Walls was at Pearl harbor during WW11 when it was bombed. At first many residents were fearful, but many members of the Japanese Nissan management and leaders would have dinners at the restaurant. People’s fears eventually turned to excitement with the thousands of new jobs in our community,” says Rep. Mike Sparks.
The former Sewart Air Force Base, now known as Smyrna Airport was once a WW11 bomber training base for the B17s and B24 bombers. Sparks late father, Sgt. Sam Sparks was stationed there and Sparks was born at the former base hospital.
I think the Smyrna and Nissan story is one of not only a story of a major automotive plant wise business decision, but also a story of forgiveness, partnership and working together as both countries are strong allies today.
Ford doesn’t create jobs. The folks who purchase those new trucks create jobs. Tennessee and economic development has worked very diligently to help create a good business climate that attracted Ford. The company will employ more employees when they sell more vehicles and fewer employees when sales lag.
According to The Center Square, a news website that covers statehouse and statewide news across the United States Tennessee was ranked as second-best state in the U.S. for doing business by industry magazine.
Weathering the economic toll caused by the response to COVID-19, Tennessee was named the second-best state in the nation for doing business by Area Development magazine.
Tennessee led the nation in site-readiness programs and tied with Georgia for overall best availability and cost of energy resources. Georgia was named the best state to do business.
Tying with South Carolina for second in favorable regulatory environment, Tennessee came in third for cooperation and responsiveness by state government.
Last week Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly closed a special session to address funding and oversight of Ford Motor Company’s historic $5.6 billion investment at the Megasite of West Tennessee.
“This single-largest investment in state history marks a tremendous win for rural Tennessee and will strengthen our workforce for generations,” said Gov. Lee.
“The special session has given Tennesseans clear visibility into the project, and I thank the General Assembly for their legislative action.”
“I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to formalize this historic partnership that will make Blue Oval City a reality. The State of Tennessee laid the groundwork for the Megasite many years ago with the hope of a day like today,” said Lieutenant Governor McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “While our state has experienced tremendous economic growth and prosperity over the last decade, many areas of our state have been left behind. This Megasite and this partnership will bring high-quality jobs – and the prosperity that comes with them – to one of those areas. This is a great day for Tennessee.”
“This new partnership for the Megasite will unlock incredible potential of both Memphis and the entire West Tennessee region,” said Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “This historic deal will make us the automobile manufacturing leader in America.”
Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer noted the project’s impact on Tennessee’s economy and workforce.
“Tennesseans will reap benefits in the billions with the successful completion of Ford Motor Company’s Blue Oval City,” said Dr. Arthur B. Laffer. “The investment to complete the project is modest compared to the projected returns. This proposal is both transformational for Tennessee’s economy and the future of American manufacturing.”
Ford is planning on breaking ground soon.