Cumberland County Mayor Brock Hill will be representing Cumberland County and the Plateau Partnership Park this week at the German Trade Mission led by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and a group of his staff.

The group consisting of roughly 40 people was scheduled to arrive in Berlin on Tuesday, Oct. 21, and will travel to Wolfsburg, home of Volkswagon, for a full day of meetings on Wednesday. On Thursday, the group will fly to Dusseldorf for an Invest in Tennessee Forum.

Hill said the group will travel by train to Frankfurt where it would host another Invest in Tennessee Forum Friday and another in Munich on Saturday and Monday. The Trade Mission concludes on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The goal is to bring manufacturing companies to Tennessee and Hill wants to bring them to the Plateau Partnership Park. Several auto manufacturing related companies are considering locations within 100 miles of the new Volkswagon plant being constructed in the Chattanooga area.

"Most trade missions are about networking and developing personal relationships with prospects. My job is to sell Cumberland County/Crossville and the Plateau Partnership Park. Most exchanges of information will be no more that a business card or DVD ... Few communities have the acreage that exists in the PPP. The Westel site (phase I) is over 780 acres, has interstate access and high visibility, rail, and a corporate/freight airport two miles away. We are 110 interstate miles from the Volkswagen site in Chattanooga, well within the just in time delivery radius," Cumberland County Mayor Brock Hill said.

Plateau Partnership Park is a three-county joint effort by Cumberland, Morgan, and Roane counties. Phase II of the park will be an additional 335 acres located adjacent to the Rockwood Municipal Airport and in Morgan County.

"None of us could have afforded to do a project of this size on our own. It puts our region and the three counties in an elite class of industrial parks. The size and scope are significant. The education and training infrastructure offered by Roane State Community College, the Tennessee Technology Centers in Crossville and Harriman, and the nearby presence of Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee are great assets since a quality workforce is critical. Obviously, the project is helped tremendously by the presence of Volkswagen in Chattanooga," HIll said.

One or more companies choosing the Plateau Partnership Park could mean several new jobs and increased revenue in the local economy.

Hill said, "Our chamber board of directors has been very supportive of the Plateau Partnership Park effort.  And TVA is a key partner. Governor (Phil) Bredesen visited last fall and stated that many communities ask the state for help with industrial park projects, but very few actually invest in them before requesting assistance. He congratulated all three counties for their hard work, foresight, and efforts and pledged his financial support for the project. This summer, the state provided a $750,000 grant for infrastructure needs through its Rural Economic Initiative."

Hill and the group are scheduled to return later next week.

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