Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday introduced two pieces of legislation to go before the Tennessee General Assembly during a special legislative session to address funding and oversight of Ford Motor Company’s historic $5.6 billion investment at the Megasite of West Tennessee.
“Tennessee’s investment in the Megasite will have a generational impact on all 95 counties and cement our place as the national leader in automotive manufacturing,” said Gov. Lee. “This special session will give Tennesseans a look into the funding process, and I thank the General Assembly for their swift action.”
These key investments will strengthen workforce and infrastructure, benefitting Tennessee’s economy in the billions and driving the future of the automotive industry.
Investments to Strengthen Workforce and Infrastructure for Generations
SB 8002/HB 8002 will address the approval of appropriations to incentivize and complete the Megasite. Additional funding will provide for infrastructure and improvements to support regional growth including:
- $500 million capital grant (ECD)
- State to build, own and operate $40 million TCAT to strengthen Tennessee’s workforce (TBR)
- State to build, own and operate water and wastewater systems to serve the Megasite (DGS)
- State to build second interchange on I-40 to improve traffic flow and support population growth (TDOT)
SB 8001/HB 8001 will create the Megasite Authority of West Tennessee to provide the services necessary for the operation and development of the Megasite. Key highlights of the development of the Authority include:
- The Authority will be established and administratively attached to the Department of General Services
- Purpose of the Authority is to develop, operate, manage, incentivize and promote the Megasite
- The Authority will be governed by a seven-member board of directors
The special legislative session will commence on Monday afternoon, October 18. The full special session call can be viewed here.
Tennessee to Reap Benefits in the Billions
Analysis from the Center for Economic Research, a division of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, projects Ford’s historic investment will result in significant economic gains. The project is expected to:
- Generate 27,000 new jobs to support the Megasite’s operations, including direct, indirect and induced new jobs. This will result in $1.02 billion in annual earnings
- Contribute $3.5 billion each year to Tennessee’s gross state product
- Provide $22.4 million each year in state tax revenue
- Generate temporary construction benefits including $5.6 billion in capital investments on buildings and other real property improvements. Additionally, the equivalent of 33,000 temporary direct, indirect and induced jobs are expected to support the construction period, with around $1.87 billion in salaries related to construction activity and $178.9 million in state tax revenue
Tennessee will Drive the Future of the Automotive Industry
Four major OEMs and 920 automotive suppliers in 88 of 95 counties employ nearly 140,000 Tennesseans. Additionally, Tennessee claims nearly 40 percent of the Southeast’s electric vehicle manufacturing jobs and investment, with more than $11.9 billion invested by companies in Tennessee’s electric vehicle industry. More than 15,000 electric vehicles are produced in the state each year, ranking Tennessee No. 1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing.
On Sept. 27, Ford and SK Innovation announced a $5.6 billion investment to build a 3,600-acre mega campus called Blue Oval City on the Megasite, marking the largest investment in state history.