Roane Alliance’s Recruiting Efforts Outlined in Recent Article

Posted in About The Alliance, Economic Development, Industrial Parks, Innovation Valley, Roane Alliance, Roane County TN with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Visit Roane

The Roane Alliance and it’s recruiting program and successes just made headlines in a recent article by Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C. in an article called Roane County a “hot property.”

In the article Ballard writes that “Roane County might be home to more industrial park acreage than any of the other counties in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley.  Without a doubt, it has been in the headlines frequently with prestigious names like Volkswagen and Crete Carrier locating in the county.”

Read the article: Roane County a “hot property”

To learn more about The Roane Alliance and the industrial property available visit

Officials Announce Volkswagen Distribution Center Project in Roane County

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 22, 2012 by Visit Roane

Roane County will be the home of Volkswagen’s new Southeastern Regional Distribution Center, officials announced today.

At a combined ground-breaking/announcement event on-site at the Roane Regional Business and Technology Park at noon today, Roane County officials joined with Volkswagen officials to announce a $40 million 400,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution center project.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Volkswagen has chosen Roane County to be the site of their new Southeastern distribution facility,” said Roane County Executive Ron Woody, “it announces to the region, the state, the nation and the world that Roane County is not only open for business – but it also confirms that Roane County, TN has an unmatched location for national and worldwide distribution and that we are very competitive in recruiting businesses and industries worldwide.

“We appreciate VW’s confidence in us and our workforce – and certainly appreciate their investment in our community. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with them for many years to come.”

The Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) facility will be built on 54.6 acres at the main entrance to Roane Regional along I-40 at Industrial Park Road exit (exit #362). The facility is slated to start distributing domestic auto parts for the Chattanooga-made Passat as well as other Volkswagen and Audi vehicles by early 2013. The construction will be built to accommodate any potential future expansion up to 600,000 square feet. The facility will employ at minimum 45 people and is expected to have an annual payroll of more than $3 million.

“We are thrilled to be here in Roane County for the groundbreaking of Volkswagen’s newest distribution center,” said Rawdon Glover, executive vice president of aftersales, Volkswagen Group of America. “Being centrally located, Roane County is a great location and gives us the ability to quickly distribute parts, creating an even better experience for our growing customer base.”

Addressing the need for increased infrastructure, the facility will begin as a redistribution center to service warehouses and will later expand to include a parts distribution center. The parts distribution operation will serve more than 100 dealers in the surrounding regions as well as in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said of the announcement: “Our Jobs4TN plan identified six target industry clusters where Tennessee has a distinct advantage, and this new Volkswagen facility in Roane County is a primary example of why it is important to leverage assets. I’m grateful Volkswagen is expanding its presence here in the state and bringing new jobs to Roane County because projects such as this bring more direct and indirect investments to Tennessee.”

Leslie Henderson, President/CEO of The Roane Alliance, said, “We have worked for more than a year and a half to make this project a reality for Roane County and Volkswagen. Literally thousands of Alliance staff/volunteer and elected official hours have gone into the Volkswagen project team effort that is culminating in this announcement today and I couldn’t be more excited to be here today to at last be able to say, “Welcome to Roane County” to Volkswagen – our newest industrial partner.”

“I want to thank Volkswagen for choosing Roane County for its new distribution center and all those at the state and county levels who worked hard to make this project a reality,” said Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “The automotive industry is one of Tennessee’s biggest strengths and today’s announcement is further confirmation of our leadership in this sector along with the business friendly climate and quality workforce Tennessee offers.”

“This important project could not have happened without the time, energy and generous support of our industrial board, the Roane Alliance staff, our legislators, the County Commission, the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Roane County Industrial Board Chair David Webb said. “Special thanks need to go to the state’s Economic and Community Development and Transportation departments – both of which are providing generous grants in excess of $1 million for infrastructure improvements necessary to make this project happen.”

Henderson also said that she would like to give a special thanks to “our economic development partners in the Knoxville Oak Ridge Innovation Valley for all the help and support they have given us throughout.”

“We are privileged to be developing this world-class distribution center for Volkswagen Group and are excited to be breaking ground here in Roane County,” said Whitfield Hamilton, senior partner with Panattoni Construction, the developer building the Roane County facility for Volkswagen. “This project will be a truly global operation and will create a local economic impact to Roane County in excess of $10,000,000 during the construction phase of the development. This is a great success story to have Volkswagen expanding their investment and employment in Tennessee.”

The Roane Alliance is Roane County’s economic development organization and consists of both public and private organizations, including the Roane County Chamber of Commerce, the Roane County Industrial Development Board and the Roane County Visitors Bureau. For more information about this project click on the ‘What’s New’ button on the Roane Alliance homepage at

2010 Roane Alliance Annual Report Just Released

Posted in About The Alliance, Economic Development, Roane Alliance, Roane County TN with tags , , , on March 3, 2011 by Visit Roane

We’re Back!  We just released our 2010 Roane Alliance Annual Report which lays out a pretty convincing case that Roane County is well on its way to full economic recovery.  Read about our record number of net new jobs reported – more than 1,100 in just one year – along with other ‘good news’ items, including one of the most consistently low unemployment rates in the state, in the full report.

Every year at this time, The Roane Alliance releases an annual report to provide the community a snapshot of the economic sector in Roane County and to highlight the Alliance’s activities through the year. The complete report is now available, as well as a copy of the news release highlighting the job growth as well as other items in the report.

If you’d like any more information or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Leslie Henderson, President/CEO at 865-376-2093 or e-mail at

A Hollywood Night for The Roane Alliance 2010 Annual Fund-raising Gala Nov. 19

Posted in Economic Development, Roane Alliance, Roane County TN, Roane Gala with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by Visit Roane

The Roane Alliance’s annual fund-raising Gala will be ‘rolling out the red carpet for a night of Hollywood stars this year,’ Alliance President and CEO Leslie Henderson said.

The Alliance Gala is one of the county’s premiere social events and features a gourmet meal, a wine reception, music and entertainment, exciting live and silent auctions, and this year – a Hollywood theme.

“This year the Roane Alliance is rolling out the red carpet for its annual gala and it will be a night for folks to dress up as their favorite ‘Hollywood Star’,” said Leslie Henderson, President/CEO of the Alliance.  Anything from Paris Hilton to Humphrey Bogart will be fair game for those who want to dress their chosen part from their own favorite Hollywood decade, but the ‘dress-up’ part is strictly optional.  This is a night for everyone to have fun; to help the Alliance and to enjoy a very special – and very entertaining – evening.”

The Gala’s real purpose is to raise funds to support the operations of The Alliance throughout the year.  These operations cover a wide range of economic and community development activities – all geared toward making Roane County more prosperous while enhancing the lives of its citizens. The Alliance handles everything from industrial recruitment for the county to assisting with community events to providing technical assistance to existing businesses and much, much more. The Alliance is a one-stop shop for all economic development – it is made up of the Roane County Industrial Development Board, the Roane Chamber of Commerce and the Roane County Visitor’s Bureau.

“Last year continued to bring all of us many challenges, but without a strong, highly-functioning Alliance out there working on our behalf, it could have been a whole lot worse,” said Ben Andrews, Chairman of The Roane Alliance Board. “Your support for our Gala this year is vital to the continuing success of those efforts.”

The Gala will be held at Rothschild’s in West Knoxville and begins at 6 pm, with a reception and silent auction. The auction typically includes get-away weekends, purebred puppies, sports memorabilia, jewelry, beauty and gift baskets, as well as hundreds of other items.

To become a Gala supporter in any way – including the purchase of sponsorships or individual tickets ($150 per person) or through the donation of any auction items – call The Alliance at 865-376-2093.

“Your support,” Henderson said, “is critical to our future success.”

Roane County Industrial Park Unveils New Sign

Posted in Economic Development, Industrial Development Board, Industrial Parks, Rockwood, TN with tags , , on October 4, 2010 by Visit Roane

The Roane County Industrial Park on Hwy 27 has a brand new sign that was officially dedicated on Thursday, September 30.  An example of a real partnership, this stylin’ monument sign is thanks to REU, HUB and TVA all pitching in to cover the cost, so folks will better know how to find our hard-working industries.  For more information about the industries in the park visit

Chamber and Comcast Hosts Elected Officials’ Barbeque

Posted in Chamber of Commerce, Harriman, TN, Kingston, TN, Roane Alliance, Roane County TN, Rockwood, TN with tags , , on September 30, 2010 by Visit Roane

     Beautiful weather, good music, and great tasting barbeque were enjoyed by one of the largest crowds ever to turn out for Roane County’s Annual Elected Officials’ Barbeque held Thursday, September 23 at the Roane Alliance

     Hosted by the Roane Chamber of Commerce and sponsored for the 8th year by Comcast, this barbecue is held to honor and show appreciation to the elected officials — both new and existing — from Roane County and each of its cities.

     Giving the welcome speech was Leslie Henderson, President/CEO of The Roane Alliance.  The Invocation was given by newly-elected Roane County Executive Ron Woody.  Chamber Board Chair Diana Knobloch, Roane County United Way, congratulated and thanked all of the elected officials for their involvement and commitments to the county and cities of Roane.  County officials, city officials from Harriman, Kingston, Oliver Springs, Oak Ridge, and Rockwood, and school board members were recognized, along with state representatives and legislatures.  Knobloch thanked the Board members of The Alliance, the Chamber, the Industrial Development Board, and the Visitors Bureau, and gave a special recognition to the Roane Alliance staff for their hard work—thanks Diana!

     A good time was had by everyone, with many comments being heard  in the  crowd,  including  those  coming from  the  sponsors themselves—the Comcast officials. The barbecue and fixings were catered by World Famous Roadside Café in Kingston.  The entertainer, Tommy Hardin, was provided by Rocky Top General Store owner and Chamber Board member David Webb and his daughter Debbie Mee, along with the beautiful decorations.

Teacher’s Supply Closet Needs Your Donations

Posted in About The Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, Education, Teacher's Closet with tags , , on August 23, 2010 by Visit Roane

The Roane County Chamber of Commerce and Roane State Community College officially announced the beginning of their yearly drive to collect supplies and financial donations for the Teachers’ Supply Closet – a highly-popular and highly-successful annual effort to help Roane County public school teachers.

Now in its eighth year, the Roane County Teachers’ Supply Closet provides a one-day free “shopping” experience where public school teachers may shop for basic supplies, arts and crafts materials, and other classroom supplies donated by area businesses and individuals.  Some items frequently needed for classrooms include: pencils, pens, copy paper, crayons, ruled writing paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels, markers, scissors, tape, tissues, glue sticks, sticky note pads, construction paper, rubber bands, folders, and band-aids. Other items that are very useful are tennis balls, hole punchers, binders, backpacks, and computer CDs.

“The Teachers’ Supply Closet is a great way for area businesses and individuals to help Roane County teachers acquire additional supplies and equipment for their classrooms,” said Allen Lutz, Education and Workforce Development Specialist for the Roane Alliance. “Donations are greatly appreciated by the teachers and help make student activities and learning more effective.”

Financial donations as well as supplies can be dropped off at the Chamber offices at The Roane Alliance, 1209 N. Kentucky Street in Kingston. Please deliver your donations by Monday, September 20. 

The teachers can pick up the supplies at the Roane State Community College main campus in Harriman on September 23. For more information or to donate items, call The Roane Alliance at 865-376-5572.