Jobs and Growing our Economy

Randy is on a mission to make Tennessee #1 in the Southeast for creating high quality jobs. Driving this mission is Randy’s unwavering belief that opportunity starts with the promise of a high-quality job, the dignity and financial benefits that come from a good job, and the exponential impact on our economy and quality of life for Tennessee families.

Randy is the only candidate for governor who has the experience of creating jobs in the private sector and the experience of recruiting and creating jobs as the chief salesman for Tennessee. Randy started a business out of the back of his van, created over 700 jobs as an entrepreneur, small business owner and successful CEO; and as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Randy helped create 50,000 new jobs, nearly $11 billion in private capital investment, and positioned Tennessee as #1 in the U.S. for advanced manufacturing with the second highest median income in the country during his two years of public service.

As Governor, Randy will continue to be the chief salesman for Tennessee, relentlessly pursuing the creation of high quality jobs for all Tennesseans in every corner of the state – CEO to CEO, small business owner to small business owner, economic developer to local community partner – from business recruitment to business expansion, urban revitalization to a rural revival.


NUMBER 1 IN THE SOUTHEAST FOR HIGH QUALITY JOBS: During Randy’s two years of public service as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, he helped lead the state in creating 50,000 new jobs, $11 billion in private capital investment and positioned Tennessee 4th in the Southeast in economic growth. As Governor, Randy will finish the job! Randy understands that setting the goal of being #1 in the Southeast is not simply a competitive pursuit. Creating more and better job opportunities provides dignity for the individual, more money for families and allows all Tennesseans to live safer, healthier, more meaningful and productive lives.


EDUCATION = JOBS: As chief architect of the Drive to 55 (providing free community and technical college opportunities for all Tennesseans through TN Promise and TN Reconnect) and as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Randy has been at the center of Tennessee’s record job creation and economic boom. He applauds the hard work, focus and dedication of a diverse set of local economic development partners – what he calls Team Tennessee. But, Randy also knows we are only half way home with a long way to go. Randy believes Tennessee can be the smartest state in the South, and this Drive to 55 mission to provide relevant education and training opportunities to all Tennesseans is directly tied to Tennessee becoming the #1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs. Randy understands that improving education, skills training and job creation are all interconnected and interdependent.


ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL TENNESSEANS: During Randy’s public service, he led the state to record level job creation and economic success. Having worked for all 95 counties, Randy understands deeply and personally the importance of lifting up all communities, neighborhoods and zip codes that are not experiencing the record high job growth and record low unemployment numbers. Randy will be laser–like focused on eliminating the 15 distressed counties, bringing a targeted and tailored “special ops” like approach to economic revitalization efforts with local stakeholders in the lead. Together, Randy believes in closing the economic achievement gap in Tennessee by providing targeted resources and support that will make a difference in creating more and better job opportunities for all Tennesseans.


CUTTING RED TAPE, FUELING AND FREEING SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURS: Randy is a conservative because of his real-life experiences. As someone who started his own business, managed a small business and grew the company to over 700 employees, Randy has the scars and practical experiences to thoughtfully and urgently re-evaluate and re-think how state government can be friendlier and more helpful to small business owners looking to chase and achieve the American Dream. Randy will spearhead a top-to-bottom review to identify the bureaucratic red tape barriers that can and should be eliminated to free up and accelerate economic growth and job creation in Tennessee. As a CEO and business man, Randy will reach out to entrepreneurs, small business owners and larger corporate partners for specific recommendations that can cut the red tape in order to help create more and better jobs.


DRIVE TO 55, OUR SECRET WEAPON: Randy was the architect of the Drive to 55, a mission to have at least 55%+ of our adult citizens attain a postsecondary credential that has economic value. The Drive to 55 is mission critical: Within the next decade, over half of all new jobs in Tennessee will require workers to have training and education beyond a high school diploma. Because of Randy’s vision and leadership, Tennessee (through TN Promise and TN Reconnect) is now the first state in the nation to offer every Tennessean the opportunity to get a technical or community college credential or degree for free. As Governor, Randy will be relentless about how Tennessee (based on our unique economic regions and our distinct local communities) leverages and aligns this opportunity with high demand jobs and high priority economic development strategies. Randy knows economic development is no longer just about green field sites, spec buildings, right-to-work policies, water and sewer lines and 4-lane highways. The Drive to 55 represents opportunities for a better education, opportunities for better jobs, and opportunities for a better quality of life.


NEW TECHNICAL TRAINING–EDUCATION CAMPUSES: Within the next decade, over half of all new jobs in Tennessee will require workers to have training and education beyond a traditional high school diploma. College means technical training and skills education, too, like welding, construction and mechatronics. Randy proposes building new technical–education campuses across Tennessee. We have the financial and policy programs in place. Randy believes we now have an opportunity to create new campuses of training that are student–centered and built to get the student into a good high demand job or to the next level of postsecondary as fast as the student is ready and willing. Whether that student is a 16–year–old seeking technical college training in mechatronics or a 42-year-old single mom returning to community college for a nursing degree, Randy wants to create new education–training campuses clustered in one place e.g. a local high school or technical college, that are competency based and turbocharged toward getting students and adults into high quality jobs and burgeoning careers ASAP.


GROWING OUR RURAL ECONOMY WHILE PRESERVING SMALL TOWN QUALITY OF LIFE: As a homegrown Tennessee entrepreneur, businessman and former Economic and Community Development Commissioner, Randy will fight to grow our rural economies while preserving our small-town way of life. Randy believes we can do both at the same time. Randy literally led the research that informed the public-private partnership commitment to bring high quality broadband access to our rural communities. As Governor, Randy will make sure the rural broadband plan is delivered as promised. Randy knows that bringing fast, reliable broadband connectivity to rural communities is critical to creating new job opportunities without destroying our rural and small-town way of life. And as co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Task Force in 2016, Randy led more than 120 Tennesseans representing economic and workforce development, tourism, local government, small business, health, agriculture, infrastructure, banking and education toward a comprehensive roadmap and action place for stronger rural communities. Randy will put this Rural Task Force plan into action immediately while seeking constant stakeholder feedback.

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