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Workforce and Training


Whether you need a highly skilled worker for your manufacturing facility, a well trained employee for your regional office or a talented  technical professional, the diverse labor force of  Knoxville’s 15-county region can meet your needs.

East Tennessee companies draw employees from a large geographical area (32 counties).  The region's skilled labor force has been key in retaining companies as well as attracting new businesses.

An exceptionally strong work ethic, affordability, greater productivity, lower absenteeism, and a higher degree of company loyalty are major competitive advantages for companies located in the Knoxville region.


  • Flexible, growing workforce of 550,000
  • Easy accessibility, commuting patterns and a tradition of commuting throughout 15-county region
  • More than 5,000 residents with Ph.D
  • 50,000 technical professionals 
  • 49,000 employed in manufacturing
  • 67,000 college students
  • Diverse population
  • Available skilled laborers


  • Low unionization; right-to-work state
  • Very low worker turnover and absenteeism rates
  • Highly ranked training programs
  • Competitive workers compensation rates
  • Affordability and competitive wages
  • Manufacturing workforce of 49,000 at costs 7% below the U.S. average

East Tennessee workforce

East Tennessee manufacturing workforce

East Tennessee workforce engineers

East Tennessee workforce technology

© 2011 East Tennessee Economic Development Agency
10215 Technology Drive, Suite 202
Knoxville, TN 37932