Knoxville to Host Program on Small-Scale Manufacturing in Magnolia Warehouse District

Communications Director

Jesse Fox Mayshark
jmayshark@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3710

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Knoxville to Host Program on Small-Scale Manufacturing

Posted: 07/05/2017
The City of Knoxville will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America and Recast City on July 10-12, 2017, as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop will provide the community with tools and strategies to help understand how to plan for and manage growth around small-scale manufacturing. Knoxville is one of only four communities selected nationwide for this special program that will be open to City leaders and community stakeholders.

“Cities across America are rethinking what makes an ideal environment for manufacturing, and Knoxville shows a lot of promise on this front,” said Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America Vice President for Economic Development. “Smart Growth America works with local leaders who are looking to harness these trends and take a key step toward diversifying local real estate markets and the employment base. We look forward to engaging members of the community in a discussion of how planning for local producers to grow their business in city neighborhoods can strengthen Knoxville in the years ahead.”

Over the course of three days, Smart Growth America will meet with local business and community leaders, share information about local opportunities and challenges, and provide the City of Knoxville and its local partners with a set of steps to support more small-scale manufacturing businesses in the Magnolia Avenue Warehouse District. The technical assistance is designed not just to train participants but also to build local capacity, support economic development and planning efforts, examine development challenges, assist in potential policy changes, and help coordinate among City agencies and partners.

“Census data shows small businesses with fewer than 10 employees grew from 53 percent of all manufacturers in Knoxville in 2002 to 62 percent in 2012,” said Bryan Berry, project manager in the City’s Office of Redevelopment. “The data illustrates a shift from factories as historically large, isolated structures, to new models that are smaller and can integrate better with other land uses. What we are trying to do is position the City through this collaborative effort to help foster this growing trend.”

The program, made possible through a grant to Smart Growth America from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while diversifying the local job market and preserving a sense of place.

As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America has accumulated extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest strategically to catalyze private development. 

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org

Click here to read the City’s original application for the technical assistance grant.

For more information, contact:

Bryan Berry, bberry@knoxvilletn.gov, (865) 215-2543
Alex Dodds, adodds@smartgrowthamerica.org