Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Attacks on the Governor's diverse hires could threaten economic development, says Williamson Co official

Last week's Republican county party attacks on Governor Bill Haslam for employing or retaining Muslims, gays, and Democrats are dividing Republicans in Williamson County, according to today's Tennessean.
Image from Equality Florida

What's more, a top economic development official in Williamson County, when pressed, admits he is worried these attacks on diversity could hurt the area's ability to attract companies seeking to relocate:

Matt Largen, director of Williamson County Economic Development, often works with the state office in which Ali is employed. He described it as “one of the most important relationships” his office has cultivated. That the dominant political party in his community is accusing an employee in that office of subverting the very economy she was hired to promote could become embarrassing, Largen said.
Moreover, employers looking to relocate here often have preconceived notions about the level of diversity in Tennessee, said Largen, and are anxious to see an inclusive community. Largen said he does not know whether these criticisms of the governor will hurt the county’s reputation, but acknowledged there is reason to be concerned.

Let's focus on one phrase:  "anxious to see an inclusive community."  Most of the larger companies have realized diversity and inclusion = good business.  Let's hope these extremist attacks don't get Tennessee off course.

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