All UC counties awarded ThreeStar status

UPPER CUMBERLAND – It was a clean sweep for the Upper Cumberland today as the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) announced the counties that have been awarded ThreeStar status. Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White were all listed as members of the economic development program. In all, 85 of 95 counties statewide were awarded the designation. To participate in the ThreeStar program, all counties must complete an annual activity plan and report, among other activities.

“The ThreeStar program is a vital component to our state’s overall level of success, providing counties with a proven roadmap for continued economic and community strength, which in turn helps Tennessee win new investment and jobs,” said Bill Hagerty, ECD commissioner. “Tennessee has been recognized as the No. 1 state in the nation for economic development and these audit committees support Gov. (Bill) Haslam’s goal of making Tennessee the most efficiently run state on every level. I congratulate all of our ThreeStar counties.”

Benefits of ThreeStar certification include a 4 percent discount on the required match rate for state and federal grants administered by ECD. Certified counties designated as tier 2 and tier 3 are eligible for an annual grant to serve as seed money for activities focused on improving at least one of the measured areas of the program: health and welfare, public safety, and education and workforce development. Additionally, cities located in a certified county are eligible to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns revitalization program.

Liz Engel is the editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal. She can be reached at

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