FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2019
Tullahoma Area EDC (TAEDC)
Tullahoma, TN. December 17, 2019 – The Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation (TAEDC) is proud to announce Tullahoma and its surrounding area will be one of only ten communities taking part in the recently launched Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Community Innovation Academy beginning in the first quarter of 2020.
This program is focused on economic development and dedicated to teaching economic development leaders how to create ideas and innovations that prepare communities for the future of work.
As the demand for innovation increases along with technology changes and the evolution of the work, TVA identified a need for communities to build innovative environments and created this Academy program to help communities become more adaptive and successfully plan for future growth and development.
Tullahoma’s participation in the TVA Innovation Academy will be a collaborative effort led by a Steering Committee consisting of local business, education and community leaders from Tullahoma, Coffee County, and the surrounding area. The Community local representatives attending the collaboration training and workshop sessions will be TAEDC Executive Director Thom Robinson, Tullahoma City Administrator Jennifer Moody, and Shelley Smith, with Motlow State Community College.
These local representatives will participate and assist in the incubation and acceleration of a pivotal plan for the community that will come to life during the course of the nine-month program.
In addition to Tullahoma, those participating in the inaugural TVA Community Innovation Academy include:
- Bowling Green/Warren County, KY
- Catoosa County, GA
- Clarksville/Montgomery County, TN
- Huntsville/Madison County, AL
- Lewisburg/Marshall County, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Oxford/Lafayette County, MS
- The Shoals, AL
- Washington County/Carter County/Unicoi County, TN (Northeast TN Regional Economic Partnership)
Heidi Smith, TVA General Manager of Global Business, outlined key goals for the program as helping participating communities rethink solutions to be healthier and more resilient economies; supporting participating communities in identifying and creating new income and tax revenue opportunities; and providing the framework for community accelerator efforts that incubate new ideas for advancing the quality of life necessary to attract and retain talent.
“TVA’s Community Innovation Academy will provide participating Valley communities the opportunity to explore fresh and transformational approaches to competitiveness in the economic development industry,” Smith stated.
“We are proud to partner with the Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation and the surrounding community to help prepare the community catalysts for industry disruptors, and support innovative solutions to foster economic growth,” Smith added.
Guillermo Mazier, founder of Collective Intelligence, an international firm in the global corporate strategies field, will lead the Innovation Academy.
“Communities participating will learn the science of collaboration, design thinking, future forecasting, risk-taking ideas, rapid prototyping, and planning methods,” Mazier said. “The program will provide communities with a Custom Community Ecosystem map, and a Community Innovation Index, or measurement of the ability to change and innovate in the future.”
“Change is happening at a more accelerated rate daily,” said Dr. Lynn Sebourn, Chairman of the Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation.
“We know, as a community in order to stay competitive and continue our pattern of growth, we must be ready to embrace our constantly changing environment,” he added.
“We must develop the kind of creative thinking that will lead us to new plans and fresh business models, and we need to be thinking and planning long-term now,” he concluded.