Tennessee-Born?

Tennessee continues to fascinate me. On the surface, the state appears to be very well run. Its Republican Governor, Bill Haslam, was instrumental in quick disaster response and aid to families affected by The Great Tennessee Snowpocalypse of 2015. Additionally, its roads are in impeccable shape, despite their high traffic content. Take I-40, for example. This east-west interstate highway is the third-longest in the country and passes through eight states. The 455-mile Tennessee stretch of highway receives more vehicle traffic per mile than any of the other seven states, including California. Yet Tennessee’s I-40 is in outstanding shape, its rest stops spotlessly clean.

Look deeper, though, and you find cracks in the veneer. Meth addiction spiraled following the financial crisis of 2008, and it’s not uncommon to encounter one or more toothless, recovering addicts on a daily basis. And while the state’s Appalachian Mountain culture is fabled as a place of folk music and simple living, the reality is closer to the movie Winter’s Bone than one might want to believe. Additionally, the state’s job growth rate is one of the lowest in the nation. Tennessee is a place of $10/hour factory and warehouse jobs; “white collar” jobs are especially hard to find once you leave the “Big Three” of Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

Still, a diverse number of companies have chosen Tennessee for their corporate or manufacturing headquarters. Let’s take a look at some of them!

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Six Months In: Tennessee Livin’

Happy New Year, Loyal Reader! A new calendar year begins and I am excited to make 2015 a good year. As it happens, I am also coming up on six months as a Tennessee resident. Where does the time go?!

I thought you’d appreciate an update about my life in the Volunteer State. The last time I really wrote about Tennessee was four months ago; you can read that optimistic blog post here.

Because I’ve had several months to take in my surroundings, for this entry I’m going to comment in bullet form about some things I’ve noticed that are unique to the south or unique to the state of Tennessee in particular. Several of these points are generalizations, and much of this is written with tongue firmly in cheek, so I hope I don’t offend. 🙂

Rural Morristown 1

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