Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd will be stepping down as the state's commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development at the end of the month, and on Monday Boyd released an open letter to his successor.
In the letter, Boyd highlights some of the improvements in Tennessee's economic status such as being ranked No. 1 in the nation for both advanced industry job growth and foreign direct investment and a decrease in unemployment.
Boyd boiled down his recommendations to three points; Focus on the right jobs in the right places, know your product, and "education = workforce = jobs."
Though Tennessee's unemployment is the lowest it has ever been, Boyd points out that there are 17 economically distressed counties across the state. He urges his successor to not be content with favorable statewide unemployment numbers until there are no distressed counties in the state. Currently, Campbell, Claiborne, Coke, Fentress, Hancock, Scott and Union counties are designated distressed.
As economic development commissioner, Boyd championed education projects like Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect because he asserts a more educated work force brings higher paying jobs to the state.
Last week, Boyd told 10News that he was "considering" plans to run for governor in 2018.