A TVA Core Mission: Economic Development

With some of the biggest corporate names in manufacturing, aerospace and defense, technology, and transportation calling the Tennessee Valley home, it’s easy to forget that the largest public power utility in the nation was borne because of a need to help a struggling region that was locked in poverty.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was intended to be an energy provider that not only improved the quality of life for residents, but also served as a stimulus for the region’s economy. Today – 86 years later – economic development remains one of TVA’s core missions.

Our success stems from leveraging strong partnerships with state and local economic development professionals for maximum impact. Companies want to take advantage of the area’s competitive electric power rates, excellent reliability and capacity, and business-friendly climate.

In the last five years, TVA has helped to recruit $53 billion worth of capital investment into the Tennessee Valley bringing with it over 350,000 jobs. While some of the biggest names garner some of the biggest headlines, thousands of other economic development wins should not be overlooked.

For example, a company named Portobello America, which creates high-quality ceramics decided to locate its U.S. headquarters in Baxter, Tennessee – home to roughly 1,300 people. They invested $150 million and created 220 jobs in Baxter in the process. So, while our economic development efforts have made a difference for the whole seven-state region, Portobello America made a difference in Baxter.

Looking ahead, our mission will remain to deliver high quality, safe, reliable electricity at a competitive price that people can afford and that will attract economic investment to the Tennessee Valley.

– Jeff Lyash, President & CEO, TVA