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Area Info

Innovation Valley

Where Technology fuels Business Success…with its heritage of innovative science and technology breakthroughs and solid, business-friendly values, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley of East Tennessee is a prime business location in the Southeast.


Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee, ranking third statewide with a metropolitan population of 893,412. The City of Knoxville comprised 103.2 square miles of the 526-square mile Knox County. An extensive transportation network connects Knoxville to the U.S. marketplace. Forty percent of the nation’s population is within 600 miles of Knoxville via I-40, I-75, and I-81 which meet in the metro area. The city is directly linked to the Great Lakes by the Interconnected Inland Water System and to the Gulf of Mexico by the Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway. Barge shipping is facilitated by three local river terminals. Also serving the area are 125 truck lines, two railroads, and eight airlines. Because of the moderate climate, transportation delays due to weather are greatly reduced.


The December 2021 civilian labor force for Knoxville Metropolitan area was 426,561, with an average unemployment rate of 6.2% (Knox County unemployment was 5.9%). A diversified economy with strong public sector employment is credited for the stability of local employment and wages. Regional workforce development initiatives recently brought together people from the education community, local workforce partners, and area businesses, to create a cohesive strategy that will create, attract and sustain a world-class workforce in order to meet the needs of the region’s existing and target industries. A skilled workforce with 21st century skills is critical to our area’s well-being and business success, and therefore the quality of our education system is of the utmost importance.

Tennesse Valley

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, the Knoxville metropolitan area has a population of more than More than 890,000. The region’s location at the convergence of Interstates 40, 75, and 81 in the heart of the Southeastern United States, provides great access to the diverse group of industries that make up the Knoxville economy. Home to a number of large public sector employers like the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a growing heath services sector, the East Tennessee economy has seen unprecedented growth and demand for space is at an all time high.

The manufacturing sector of the region’s economy accounts for nearly 11% of the region’s 400,000 jobs. This sector is comprised of many small to medium sized companies in a diverse group of industries that includes transportation, personal watercraft, pre-assembled housing, metals, and a number of consumer related products. Because of the diversification among industries in the manufacturing sector and the region’s central location, the Knoxville industrial market has seen consistent growth over the past several years and continues to remain active.