Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber announced that DeKalb County has achieved certification under the state’s Three-Star program.
“This designation is a sign of DeKalb County’s tremendous hard work, and I am proud to offer my congratulations,” Kisber said. “Strong community development is the basis for sustainable economic growth, and DeKalb County has demonstrated their commitment to improvement by accepting and meeting Three-Star’s challenging requirements. This dedication has yielded progress, and DeKalb County is more prepared than ever for long term success in the economic, and every other, arena.”
DeKalb and the cities of Smithville, Dowelltown, Liberty and Alexandria are now eligible to receive additional incentives under the guidelines of the Tennessee Three-Star program.
The Three-Star program has set high standards and incentives like no other state-run program in the nation. Governor Phil Bredesen’s five-year asset-based economic development strategic plan is the cornerstone of the program. In 2005, the Southern Growth Policies Board, a bipartisan public policy think tank devoted to strengthening the South's economy, recognized the Three-Star program as a best practices program and a Southern leader in community certification programs.
Tennessee’s Three-Star program helps urban and rural communities develop strategic economic and community development plans that meet the needs and challenges of an ever-changing economic environment. It helps communities preserve existing employment, create new employment opportunities, improve family income and develop a strong leadership base for economic development.
The Tennessee Three-Star Program, which is currently active in 89 counties and one city, represents more than 348 Tennessee cities, making this year’s participation the largest ever.
“It’s an honor for me to celebrate with DeKalb County in their achievement of Three-Star certification,” said ECD Assistant Commissioner of Community Development Rick Meredith. “DeKalb County is truly taking a strategic approach to economic development in their community, and its success in the Three-Star program is evidence that it is poised for marked growth. ECD is proud to provide support to this forward-thinking community.”
In order to receive the certification, communities are required to meet criteria in organizational, community, business, education and work force development categories. Incentives for receiving the certification include identification on all FastTrack infrastructure and job training applications; eligibility for matching grants, if criteria set by ECD are met; and the advantage of earning points in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.