Program will map and showcase livability assets
The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has been chosen by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to participate in TVA’s Community Livability Initiative. The purpose of the program is to map and showcase Oak Ridge’s livability assets and increase the likelihood that the community will be viewed as inviting and vibrant by companies and talent seeking locations.
The asset mapping will be conducted by volunteers of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce as well as other community volunteers working in concert with the chamber. The process will culminate in a July showcase to TVA Economic Development staff and Newmark Knight Frank consultants.
Kelly Callison, Senior Vice President of Operations for Information International Associates and Chair of the Chamber-led Housing Committee said, “It’s exciting to see the hard work of the Housing Committee is a part of securing this opportunity. The housing study commissioned by the Chamber in 2017 and implemented over the past two years is bearing fruit as we see new houses coming out of the ground. The collaboration between the Chamber, the City, Realtors, the school system, Oak Ridge Land Bank and the Oak Ridge Housing Authority in one joint effort has certainly been a big part of solving problems and maintaining accountability related to follow through on the study’s recommendation.”
Mike Brown, President of M&M Productions and Vice Chair of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce commented, “This asset mapping will help Oak Ridge’s economic development partners realize the value of our current livability assets. We expect it will also bring into focus some assets we may have overlooked.”
“We know that quality-of-life and quality-of-place stories are more and more important to companies when they are searching for a place to locate. Those elements are very important to the talent companies wish to recruit,” said Sasha Benjamin, Vice President of External Affairs and Community Relations at Oak Ridge Utility District and co-Chair of the Chamber’s Community Branding Committee.
Echoing those comments, Katy Brown, Protocol Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and co-Chair of the Chamber’s Community Branding Committee stated, “Employers are focusing more and more on what community amenities are available for their employees. I know that for my family, those were a big part of what motivated us to move here several years ago.”
Parker Hardy, President and CEO of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce said, “We look forward to continuing the synergy of many community partners as we work together to develop the livability mapping. There are so many positive things to focus on in Oak Ridge and we’re excited to the Chamber has the opportunity to lead this effort.”
The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is a Four-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce.